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This curious and entertaining work, which gives 
so unique a picture of the household life of a popular 
artist at the end of the eighteenth century, was 
brought out in two octavo volumes by Colburn in 
1828. It contained, as frontispiece, a fine lithograph 
of Nollekens, engraved by William Bond from a 
drawing by John Jackson, R.A. ' A second edition, 
revised, appeared in 1829, and this has been taken 
as the text for the present reprint. In this edition 
Smith omitted some of his desultory anecdotes, which 
had no bearing whatever upon the life of his hero, 
and, with one exception, it has not been thought 
desirable to put them back again. The two editions 
have, however, been carefully collated. 

In reprinting the i Life of Nollekens ' two changes 
have been made, an account of which must here be 
given. In order to fill out the second of his volumes, 
J. T. Smith appended i Memoirs of several Contem- 
porary Artists, from the time of Roubiliac, Hogarth 
and Reynolds, to that of Fuseli, Flaxman and Blake.'' 



This is, in reality, a separate contribution to litera- 
ture, and has no connection with the ' Life of 
Nollekens.' It is an instalment of the same author s 
1 Book for a Rainy Day,' with which,' if at all, it 
should be reprinted. It is here omitted as forming 
no part of the ' Life of NollekensJ 

In the second place J. T. Smith had the habit, 
as his work progressed, of adding to his manu- 
script reminiscences which had escaped his memory 
ivhen he was writing his first draft. These he 
printed as notes, although they really form an 
integral part of the book. In the present edition 
these passages are printed in the text, so as not to 
interrupt the reader s attention. Those which are 
genuine illustrative notes by Smith have been left 
where they stood, at the foot of the page. 

In an appendix will be found certain supplemen- 
tary facts, hitherto unpublished, which the editor 
owes to the courtesy of Miss Edith M. Beechey, of 
High House, Newbury. 

So little is now remembered of the history of 
Georgian sculpture that the editor has prefixed to 
this reprint an essay, in which he has endeavoured to 
collect what is known about the leading English 
sculptors between Roubiliac and Flaxman, and to 
give some of the characteristics of their work. It is 
hoped that this may serve to help the reader inform- ' 
ing an impression of the world of art in which 
Nollekens flourished. No section of the history of 
English talent has been more unworthily neglected. 


In conclusion, the editor ventures to call attention 
to the very full index which he has prepared. The 
1 Life of Nollekens ' has hitherto been a closed book 
to the compilers of topographical and biographical 
works, from the difficulty of finding a fact or a 
detail in its copious pages. It is hoped that the 
index here published will enable this compendium of 
curious information to be used conveniently as a booh 
of reference. 

E. G. 



Introduction ------ v 

An Essay on English Sculpture from Eoubiliac to 

Flaxman (by Edmund Gosse) - - - 1 

John Thomas Smith - - - - 21 

Original Preface - - - - 27 

nollekens and his tlmes - - - - 29 

Appendix ------- 417 

Index ------- 419 




The history of English sculpture in the eighteenth century 
has yet to be written, and the materials for it are now rare 
and scattered. Even of Roubiliac comparatively little is 
known ; and of the other statuaries, from Bird down to 
Flaxman, scarcely any personal data would have been 
preserved had it not been for the industry of John Thomas 
Smith. In the ' Life of Nollekens,' which is here reprinted, 
and in his ' Anecdotes of Several Artists,' that entertaining 
writer supplied us with desultory statements for which he 
has never yet received due gratitude. A brief and pre- 
posterous life of Bacon, by Cecil, and a few notes by Allan 
Cunningham, almost exhaust the other sources of informa- 
tion on the sculptors of the eighteenth century. The fast- 
vanishing works of the artists themselves, ravaged by fire 
and flood, dispersed often beyond the power of re-identifica- 
tion, complete the slender data on which we can build up 
an idea of this important group of men. In the following 
pages some attempt will be made, in the first place, to 
rearrange what is known about their lives ; in the second, 
to bring the light of modern criticism to bear on their 
work, hitherto obscured and most unfairly by too im- 
plicit a trust in the excessive fastidiousness of Flaxman. 
?/* 1 


Little must here be said, however, of the exotic sculptors 
who flourished in England before George III. ascended the 
throne. In the central years of the century, Roubiliac, a 
Frenchman, and two Flemings, Peter Scheemakers and 
John Michael Rijsbrack, competed with one another for 
the execution of public monuments in London. The first 
was an artist of very considerable genius, whose work is 
still highly appreciated and widely known. Scheemakers 
and Rijsbrack were men of inferior pretensions, whose 
shops, in Vine Street and in Vere Street respectively, were 
manufactories of sculpture, in which the former, at least, 
was aided by yet another Fleming, Laurent Delvaux, who 
soon returned to Belgium. When the Royal Academy was 
founded Roubiliac had been dead for six years. Schee- 
makers might well expect that he would be a foundation 
member. It is not recorded that it was disappointment 
that led him, in the next year, to return to Antwerp. He 
was seventy-eight years of age, and might well wish to 
retire from the profession. Rijsbrack remained in England, 
and he also was overlooked, dying above his shop in Vere 
Street in 1770. The disappearance of all these men left 
the field completely free for the appearance of a new 
generation of sculptors. 

In a queer copy of verses composed by Roubiliac in 
1761, the statuary had said, doubtless in tentative reference 
to the new monarch : 

II ne f aut pas qu'un Mecenas 
Pour revoir le Siecle d'Auguste.' 

Next year Roubiliac himself died, and when, in 1768, the 
Royal Academy looked about it for foundation members, it 
could only find two sculptors who seemed worthy to be 
affiliated to the thirty-eight painters. These were Joseph 
Wilton and Agostino Carlini, two artists whose historical 
position and unquestionable merit call out against the 
complete obscurity into which their very names have 


Of Wilton, almost all that we know has been preserved 
to us by the industry of J. T. Smith. According to that 
invaluable gossip, he was born in London on July 16, 1722. 
In order to realize the important position held in the 
history of our art by Joseph Wilton, it must be borne in 
mind that until his time sculpture in England had mainly 
been carried on by foreign modellers and carvers under 
the direction of British architects. Cunningham described 
this condition of things with accuracy and vivacity when 
he said ' the architects dictated monuments something in 
the mathematical principles of their profession. The 
names of Kent and Gibbs and Chambers appear upon our 
public monuments as inventors of the designs, while the 
artists who executed them are mentioned as mere modelling 
tools or chisels, which moved as they were directed by 
their architectural lords -paramount. Rijsbrack, Schee- 
makers, and even Roubiliac, were fain to submit to the 
tyranny. In truth, the architects of those days were 
mighty men. Not contented with planning the houses in 
which the nobles lived, they laid out the gardens in which 
they walked, cooled their summer seats and arbours with 
artificial cascades, hung gods and seasons upon the ceilings 
of their galleries, sketched the cradles for their children, 
dictated the form and flowers of their ladies' dresses, and, 
following them to the family vault, erected a triumphant 
monument in honour of their virtues.' 

It was the function of Joseph Wilton to rebel against 
this tyranny. He was the first trained sculptor of English 
birth, and he was fortunate enough to be born to wealth, 
which made him independent. His father was a highly 
successful manufacturer of papier-mache, who employed 
several hundred persons in his establishments at Charing 
Cross and near Cavendish Square. It is probable that 
Laurent Delvaux had worked for him while he was in 
England, for when the young Joseph began to show a 
strong leaning to sculpture, his father took him over to 


Nivelles, in Brabant, and left him to study with that clever 
statuary. In 1744 Wilton quitted Delvaux, and proceeded 
to Paris, where he worked for three years under that 
brilliant sculptor, Jean Baptiste Pigalle, already, at the 
age of thirty, a recognised master of the French school. 
Wilton gained the silver medal of the Academie des Beaux 
Arts, and ' acquired the power of cutting marble,' a mystery 
until that time closed to Englishmen. In October, 1747, 
he proceeded to Rome. 

For the next eight years Wilton resided in Italy, and 
principally at Home and Florence. This was a period of 
the most critical importance to the art of sculpture, and it 
is a matter for regret that we possess no record of the effect 
produced on the mind of the young English sculptor. We 
read that in 1750 he received from Pope Benedict XIV. the 
Jubilee gold medal, but we know not how he was affected 
by the discoveries of ancient Greek art made at Hercu- 
laneum and at Poestum, nor by the literature of modern 
archaeology, which began about that year to glorify the art 
of Greece and its noble simplicity. In Holland he had 
probably seen the crowded and violent pediments of Arthur 
Quellinus ; in Paris he had been instructed by Pigalle, that 
1 Phidias-Pigalle,' as he was called, who endeavoured to 
cultivate realism side by side with le grand art ; in Italy 
he was now contrasting the frenzied monuments of Bernini 
and Algardi with the sweet serenity of rediscovered Greek 

Wilton left Italy in 17 5 5, and in the following year 
Winkelmann published those ' Reflections on the Imitation 
of Greek Art in Sculpture and in Painting ' which formed 
the prelude to his great work of archaeological criticism. It 
was a period of agitation, of the new sculpture beginning to 
rise and smite the old, during which Wilton served his 
Italian apprenticeship. We know that he was deeply 
interested in the antique, and that when he was in 
Florence he executed, in marble, many copies of ancient 


statues. In his combination of the old and the new, of the 
sculpture of the eighteenth century with that of the neo- 
classic school of the Eevolution, Wilton may be compared 
with a French sculptor who was still a child when the 
Englishman left Paris with the ingenious and gifted Pierre 

Wilton returned to London in May, 1755, and brought 
with him a painter, Cipriani, afterwards the well-known 
R.A., an architect, who was to become Sir William 
Chambers, and a sculptor, the eccentric Capizzoldi. The 
latter made but little mark in England, and soon returned 
to Italy ; he was for awhile Wilton's carver and assistant, 
and he modelled the curious bas-relief in bronze at the base 
of the monument to General Wolfe in Westminster Abbey. 
He would, nevertheless, be forgotten but for a story told by 
Smith : 

1 Capizzoldi, upon his arrival, took the attic story of a 
house in Warwick Street, Golden Square, and, being short 
of furniture, painted chairs, pictures and window curtains 
upon the walls of his sitting - room, most admirably 
deceptive, so that with two chairs and a small table he 
entertained a friend with a breakfast, on an oyster and a 
pot of porter, in a room completely furnished. At such 
repasts my father has frequently been his companion.' 

In 3 758 Wilton and Cipriani were appointed by the 
Duke of Richmond Directors to the Statue Garden in 
Privy Gardens, and on the accession of George III. the 
sculptor became State Coach Carver to the King. He 
presently inherited his father's fortune, and, in Smith's 
words, ' the edge of his inclination for art was considerably 
blunted.' Nevertheless, in 1768 he was made an Acade- 
mician, but he seems to have taken far less interest in the 
corporation and in its schools than did his solitary colleague, 
Carlini. Wilton became a very fine gentleman, moved in 
fashionable society, executed a few more busts and monu- 
ments, and became celebrated for his dinner-parties. When 


Carlini died, Wilton accepted the Keepership of the Royal 
Academy, and in that capacity might be seen moving about 
upon his gold-headed cane, dressed in the height of the 
fashion, with a long-tailed wig, and a portly and dignified 
demeanour. He was a hospitable, gentlemanly, elegant 
man, but money had killed the promising artist, whose 
youth had been so laborious and original. He died in his 
official apartments in Somerset Place on November 25, 1803, 
in his eighty-second year. 

Wilton has suffered great and unmerited neglect. His 
name calls for revival as that of an artist of great learning 
and high accomplishment. Between Roubiliac and Bacon 
he was without a rival, and he is not unworthy to be named 
with the one and with the other. In the eyes of Read and 
other extravagant imitators of Roubiliac it seemed im- 
possible to go too far in the direction of sensational and 
preposterous design. Wilton, with his better training and 
more harmonious fancy, saw that this was the point at 
which the great French sculptor had himself been led into 
error, and he cultivated a much calmer manner. The taste 
of the age was against him ; he was forced by it to heap up 
those rhetorical masses of urns and clouds and tombs 
which we find so vapid. Nor was he at any time a great 
master of composition. But the more carefully we examine 
his monuments, laying aside prejudice and the ridicule 
which successive generations have so lightly heaped upon 
them, the more shall we be convinced of the talent of 
Joseph Wilton. 

He was at his best when, full of enthusiasm and cheered 
by the patronage of the young King, he started in London 
with monuments of heroic size. Such are the ' Holmes ' 
which he completed in 1766 and the ' Pulteney ' of ] 767. 
Here we may admire an extraordinary detail of modelling, 
closely transferred from nature itself. Wilton, we are told, 
prided himself on his anatomy, and he was justified in 
so doing, since his knowledge of the human body was 


evidently superior to that of any other English sculptor of 
the century. The delicacy of his treatment of the play of 
muscles and articulations is remarkable ; it is sometimes 
almost pre-Raphaelite in its quaint precision. Somewhat 
weak in design Wilton usually is. He is always excellent 
in execution ; he succeeds in what he aims at, and his 
single figures are distinguished, learned, and often beautiful. 
He himself, and his age, considered his huge monument to 
Wolfe to be his masterpiece. It is difficult to assent to 
this criticism ; here the sculptor seems to have striven at 
something beyond his powers. In the first place, the 
mixture of low relief with figures in the round is highly 
unfortunate, and the design, which fails to interesc, over- 
powers the detail of the modelling. The lions at the base 
are ludicrous, and there is no escaping from them. Yet 
examination points to much that is admirable in the 
' Wolfe.' Contemporaries found fault with the fact that 
the naked body of the hero is supported by soldiers in 
modern uniform ; yet the convention could be defended, 
even from a realistic point of view, and certainly does not 
vex the eye. The way in which the illumination of the 
whole enormous structure is focussed on the head and 
shoulders of the dying general is exceedingly skilful. 

The 'Wolfe,' however, though the most famous of 
Wilton's productions, is far from being the best. He is 
seen to greater advantage in calmer compositions. He 
loved to introduce angels into his mortuary monuments, 
and to support them on wings of rare beauty and novelty. 
The heads of these spiritual creations of his have some- 
times an almost Rossetti-like picturesqueness. Wilton re- 
presents the transition from the brisk and realistic virility of 
Roubiliac and Pigalle to the imagination of the neo-Hellenic 
school, although he shows no sign of direct Greek influence. 
Unhappily, success and worldly indulgence made him 
languid ; some of his later work is unworthy of him. But 
at his best he was a very brilliant and highly-equipped 


craftsman ; sometimes he seems almost worthy to be called 
a great artist. He affected an unusual height of polish on 
the surface of his works. His busts are graceful and true, 
but they have neither the searching portraiture nor the 
high distinction of those of Nollekens. 

Of Agostino Carlini, who was also a very clever artist, 
much less has been preserved. He was a native of 
Genoa, but we do not know when he was born, nor how 
he came to distinguish himself above all the supple and 
exotic modellers of his age. He lived and died at No. 
14, Carlisle Street, Soho, and Smith has preserved for 
us this vignette of his appearance late in life : * When 
Carlini was Keeper of the Royal Academy, he used to 
walk from his house to Somerset Place, with a broken 
tobacco-pipe in his mouth, and dressed in a deplorable 
great- coat ; but when he has been going to the Academy 
dinner, I have seen him getting into a chair, full dressed 
in a purple silk coat, scarlet gold-laced waistcoat, point- 
lace ruffles, and a sword and bag.' Carlini died on August 
16, 1790. 

This is all that is known about Carlini, whose works 
have disappeared almost as completely as his memory, the 
Royal Academy itself not having preserved that equestrian 
statue of George III. which he presented to it as his 
diploma work in 1769. And yet Carlini, so far as can now 
be discerned, was an admirable sculptor. His busts show 
the influence of Roubiliac in a modelling that is rather 
hard and dry, but masterly in style. His head of George III. 
at Burlington House is a delightful work, the carving extra- 
ordinarily fine, the drapery, if a little too tight and mannered 
in the fashion of the time, well expressing the buoyant 
folds of silk, the treatment of the hair varied, the silhouette 
dignified and distinguished. 

The opening of the schools of the Royal Academy in 
1769 was the signal for a complete revival of the arc of 
sculpture in England. That two successive Keepers should 


have been sculptors must have greatly fostered the study 
of that art, since it is the Keeper who has the direction 
of the schools of the Royal Academy. Among the young 
men who were the earliest to take advantage of the en- 
couragement given to modellers were Bacon, Banks, and 
Nollekens, destined to be the leading English sculptors of 
the next generation. Of these the first-mentioned was 
the youngest, but the one who earliest attained wealth 
and eminence. It may, therefore, be convenient to speak 
first of John Bacon. 

Like not a few later sculptors of distinction, Bacon came 
to the schools of the Royal Academy from pottery 
works. Born on the 24th of November, 1740, the son of a 
Somerset man of fallen fortunes, he was apprenticed for 
eight years, at the age of fourteen, to the well-known 
manufacturer of china shepherdesses Crispe, of Bow 
Churchyard. Crispe's pottery furnace was at Lambeth, 
and thither the boy took the small clay models which were 
to be burned. In process of time he made such models 
himself little rude figures of animals and persons. He was 
still a labourer at the potteries when, in 1758, he carried 
a clay model ' a small figure of Peace, after the manner of 
the antique ' to the Society of Arts. He received the 
prize of ten pounds, and was from this time forth a 
constant recipient of the premiums of the society until 
the Royal Academy was formed. Bacon entered the 
schools, but his knowledge was already considerable, and 
he received in 1769 the first gold medal ever given by the 
Academy. Next year he was elected A.R.A. All this 
while he was still a labourer. He is said to have invented 
a species of artificial stone, called lithodipra, on which a 
manufacturer at Lambeth expended some capital in 1769 ; 
this product became extremely popular, and for at least 
ten years Bacon was the principal workman. Nichols, the 
historian of Lambeth, writing in 1784, speaks of the 
Artificial Stone Factory in these terms : ' Here are statues 


which are allowed by the best judges to be masterpieces 
of art, from the models of that celebrated artist, John 
Bacon.' Before Bacon left this establishment, the young 
Flaxman was finding employment there. 

The character of Bacon was a singular one. In Smith's 
portraiture of Nollekens, we see a rough, uncultured spirit 
achieving success by a blunt adhesion to the truth a 
quaint, and even attractive, disdain for the conventions 
of society. His eminent fellow-student and precursor in 
the Royal Academy disdained nothing. He was a born 
courtier, and unmatched in the art of saying soft, in- 
sinuating things. He glided imperceptibly into fame and 
fortune, nattering and conciliating everybody who could 
help him, giving no offence to any man of influence. That 
he might avoid the unseemly trick of spirting water from 
his mouth on to the clay, as had hitherto been done, Bacon 
invented a silver syringe for the purpose, and used it first 
when he first obtained a sitting from the King. His address, 
which was simple and graceful, without obsequiousness, 
delighted George III., who asked him: 'Bacon, have you 
studied in Rome ? Did you learn your art out of England?' 
1 1 have never been out of your Majesty's dominions,' was 
the reply. ' I am glad of it I am glad of it,' answered 
the King ; ' you will be the greater honour to us.' 

This seems to have occurred about 1774, and for the 
next quarter of a century the success of Bacon was 
assured. In sixteen public competitions for monuments, 
he was successful fifteen times. He became an exceedingly 
wealthy man, and as he rose he became more and more 
humble. As he gained the attention of the public, he lost 
the friendship of his friends. He was accused, not without 
cause, of trying to secure a, monopoly of the public sculp- 
ture of the country ; and when he had the face to propose 
to the Government to do all the national monuments at a 
percentage below the Parliamentary price, there was an 
outcry among his fellow- artists. ' Spirit of Phidias !' said 


Fuseli, ' Bacon is to do all the stonework for the navy and 
army they ought also to give him the contract for hams 
and pork!' Bacon smiled a still humbler smile, and 
turned away from his rude colleagues. He had always 
been a pious man, and as he grew older he grew more 
sanctimonious still. When the sculptors asked their 
brother * the presumptuous potter,' as they called him 
what he meant by his proposal, he murmured that his 
desire was ' to employ monumental sculpture to an impor- 
tant moral purpose.' He wrote hymns, he preached 
sermons, he distributed epitaphs, and parables and admo- 
nitions ; meanwhile, he was amassing a very large fortune. 
When he died, suddenly and prematurely, on August 4, 
1799, he asked to be buried in Whitefield's Tabernacle, and 
to have this inscription plainly carved above him : ' What 
I was as an artist seemed to me of some importance while 
I lived ; but what I really was as a believer in Christ Jesus 
is the only thing of importance to me now.' That Bacon 
was not sincere, it would be unfair to insinuate. But he 
was a very odd mixture of piety and business, and the 
god he worshipped was a sort of Chadband- Apollo. The 
most cruel thing said of him was that ' he was charitable 
at least in theory.' That sculpture had not been an un- 
profitable pursuit to 'the humble cutter of stone,' as he 
was wont to call himself, may be gathered from the fact 
that he left 60,000 behind him. 

Bacon w T as the first English sculptor to get free from the 
tradition of Roubiliac, with his boisterous lights and shades, 
his excessive under-cutting, and his dependence upon 
exaggerated emphasis of style. His forms are far more 
generous than even those of Wilton, and he bases his 
effects upon a broader system of illumination. In looking 
at a successful monument by Bacon, we find evidences of 
an eye accustomed to consider the general superficies of 
a work of art, not the picturesqueness of its details. He 
was well fitted b}^ his long and conscientious training, and 


by the sobriety of his temperament, to excel in the art of 
monumental sculpture. His love for nature and for truth 
was great ; his anatomical science, though more superficial 
than that of Wilton, was considerable, and he was exceed- 
ingly skilful in all the technical processes of his art. He 
deserves special recognition as the inventor of the pointing 
instrument, which has now entirely superseded the old 
practice of pointing by compasses or calipers. 

His bust of ' Sickness,' deposited with the Royal Academy 
in 1778, an attenuated head, very finely wrought, is a little 
mannered in its detail. But in his monument to Chatham, 
in Westminster Abbey, Bacon showed for the first time how 
great an artist he was. Of all the huge, pyramidal monu- 
ments of the age, this is the most accomplished, and the 
more carefully it is examined the more admirable it will 
be found. Chatham, in the ordinary dress of the period, 
advancing an arm and a thin leg in a somewhat rhetorical 
pose, dominates the design ; and this figure is excellent in 
realism, in the careful study of nature. Lower down, the 
Muses, reclining in gracefully balanced poses on the sarco- 
phagus, are full of beauty the forms and drapery classical, 
yet individualized and made personal. Their draperies, it 
will of course be observed, are papery and thin. This was 
an error out of which Bacon was to grow. 

He was improving to the last. His monument to Halifax, 
with the keen portrait-bust supported by beautifully 
modelled children, dates from 1782. It is an excellent 
work, but the true masterpieces of Bacon are those on 
which he was engaged during the last decade of his life. 
The soft female figure, wonderfully carved, that lies 
stretched in all the abandonment of grief over the tomb 
of Brigadier Hope, a monument executed in 1793, is full 
of beauty ; but Bacon is seen at his very best in one of his 
latest productions, the monument to Sir George Pocock, 
executed in 1796. Here his touch, his whole manner, 
curiously reminds us of Dubois and the great French 


masters of five- and-t wen ty years ago. Nothing, it is safe 
to say, was seen in England so broadly treated, so full of 
mingled mastery and grace, until Alfred Stevens made his 
appearance. Bacon is always Roman, and, by sympathy, 
French; the Hellenic sentiment never touched him, and it 
was to his resolute retention of the old types that was due, 
we are forced to suppose, the strange injustice done to him 
by Flaxman. The truth is, and it should be distinctly 
said, that Bacon deserves to be ranked among the greatest 
of English sculptors. 

There could be no greater contrast than between Bacon 
and Banks. The one was a realist in his art, a fanatic in 
religion; the other was an idealist and a pagan, always 
dreaming about beauty, always aspiring towards an im- 
possible altitude of delicacy and distinction. Thomas 
Banks was born in Lambeth on December 22, 1735. At 
the age of fifteen he was apprenticed to a wood-carver, and 
in 1761, the year before Roubiliac died, he began to study 
from the life in the St. Martin's Lane Academy. The 
subjects of his early basso-relievos, the titles of which have 
come down to us, show that from the first Banks was 
captivated by the romance of Greek mythology. He ran, 
at first, neck and neck with Nollekens and Bacon, the 
three young sculptors gaining the gold medal of the Royal 
Academy, which was not then, as now, biennially granted, 
in quick succession. But in 1772, Banks having gained 
the travelling studentship, the Academicians sent him to 
Rome at their expense, Carlini giving him a letter of intro- 
duction to Capizzoldi, who had by this time returned home. 
The grant from the Royal Academy lasted three years ; 
Banks was instructed by Capizzoldi in the art of carving 
in marble, and lingered on in Rome at his own expense. 
He had already married, probably in 1765, a lady of con- 
siderable property, and this was a most fortunate circum- 
stance, for Banks had no commercial instinct, and was 
rarely successful in selling a statue. 


In 1779 Banks returned to England, but found that, 
while he had been dreaming among the ruins of antiquity, 
his two old fellow-students had made a clientele for them- 
selves at home. He announced his willingness to execute 
monuments, but the commissions were given to Bacon ; he 
suggested busts, but the sitters were all pledged to Nolle- 
kens. Finding it impossible to obtain employment, he set 
out for Russia, taking with him a finished marble statue of 
Cupid catching a moth on his wing, which was fortunate 
enough to attract the admiration of the Empress Catherine. 
He stayed in St. Petersburg for some two years, and is said 
to have been frightened back by an appalling commission 
laid upon him by the Empress, nothing less than a marble 
group allegorical of the Armed Neutrality. He exhibited 
in the Royal Academy a design, in low relief, of the 
1 Frenzied Achilles,' and in 1784 a statue of heroic size of 
the same subject. This figure was greatly admired but 
never executed, and the original plaster, after many vicissi- 
tudes, has at last found an asylum in Burlington House. 
That same year Banks was elected A.R.A., an honour 
that had many years earlier been bestowed upon Bacon 
and upon Nollekens. He became a full R.A. in 1785. 
The remainder of the life of Banks was passed almost 
without incident, in the reverie of a sincere and poetic 
artist. He found a patron at last in Mr. Johnes, of Hafod, 
whose house in Cardiganshire he adorned with a succession 
of heroic figures in marble. Unhappily, Hafod was after- 
wards burned down, and some of Banks' noblest produc- 
tions perished in the flames. Banks died on February 2, 
1805, and is buried at Paddington. 

As a monumental artist, as an executant altogether, 
Banks cannot be compared with Nollekens or Bacon. His 
groups do not hold together. His great cenotaph to Sir 
Eyre Coote, with its ambitious Indian scheme, is an 
appalling failure. In this the chief interest centres 
around a great towering palm-tree, apparently made of 


indiarubber, absurdly posed in the centre of the composi- 
tion. These things of Banks' are very poor, and his bas- 
reliefs, which the school of Westmacott admired, are 
meagre and rude. But when he had an opportunity of 
giving rein to his fancy, and to his instinct for selected human 
beauty, Banks produced works of considerable sentimental 
grace. In 1786 he deposited with the Royal Academy a 
' Falling Giant,' which may still be admired. The pose of 
this figure, rolling topsy-turvy among a cascade of rocks, 
opened up new possibilities in arrangement of the model. 
Here, and elsewhere, in his ideal statues, Banks showed 
some sense of the Greek imagination. Here, for instance, 
the scale of the giant is naively, but effectively, suggested 
by a tiny group of a satyr and two goats dancing in the 
shade of his gigantic limbs. 

Banks excelled in languid monuments which insisted on 
the pathos of early death. Of these the most famous is 
that erected to Penelope Boothby in the church of Ash- 
bourne, in Derbyshire. Queen Charlotte burst into tears 
when she saw this work exhibited at the Royal Academy, 
and this class of his productions achieved popularity. But 
his real force lay in Greek compositions. There exists a 
statuette of ' Achilles Arming,' which is singularly vigorous 
in technique, though not carried very far. It was, indeed, 
in completing his work that Banks was apt to fail. He 
was a capital draughtsman ; the Royal Academy possesses 
a very fine life-sized chalk study of a head by him. 

In all Banks' poetic figures we see the reconstituted 
ideal, made up of recollected fragments of antique 
statuary, and it is dangerous to praise his work without 
being certain whence he obtained the beauty of it. He was 
not a sufficiently faithful student of nature to be trusted to 
prefer it to some reminiscence of antiquity, and, to confess 
the truth, for all his theoretic pretensions, he was to the 
end of his days but a somewhat inefficient craftsman. 

Of Joseph Nollekens it would be needless to say much 


more than will be found in the caustic but graphic and 
faithful pages of his candid biographer. One vignette may 
be added to the series of Smith's vigorous portraits. This 
is how Nollekens struck Allan Cunningham, who saw him 
in 1819 : 

' He was then unable to move but by the aid of his 
attendants, and, having expressed a wish to Chantrey, 
whom he admired and loved, to see the exhibition of paint- 
ing and sculpture, he was carried upstairs in a kind of sedan, 
and with his friend at his elbow sat for a time looking 
round him. He then fixed his eye on some work which 
pleased him muttering a few almost inaudible words 
moved with his body in the direction of his object, and 
made a sign when he was placed in the right point of view. 
His power of expressing what he felt was never strong it 
was less than ever now but his good taste was in full 
vigour, for he caused himself to be placed before all the 
best paintings, and his remarks went at once to their chief 
merits. . . . When he was borne to his coach he gave the 
persons who had helped him a guinea each, put his hand 
to his hat, and bade farewell for ever to the Royal Academy. 
He was then eighty-two years old.' 

Nollekens attempted every species of sculpture, but he 
succeeded pre-eminently in only one, the bust. His poetic 
groups and reliefs show no native sense of grace ; his 
Cupids and his Psyches roll heavy heads at one another, 
with Boeotian clumsiness ; his monuments are broken with 
trivial eccentricities, and are piles of -detail rather than 
compositions. His ' Three Captains of Rodney's ' was 
executed in direct rivalry with Bacon's ' Chatham,' and 
invites comparison with it. But it is in altogether a lower 
plane of art. Instead of the broad simplicity of Bacon, we 
find the composition crowded with undignified accessories, 
wanting in dignity, and even absurd in its attempted 
realism of the three portraits hung on a naval trophy, 
through which real ships of George III.'s navy are sailing. 


Much better are the elegant and effective three-quarter 
reliefs of Nollekens, where a difficult task is gracefully and 
skilfully performed. But it is in his century or so of vivid 
busts that Nollekens takes his place among the leading 
artists of the eighteenth century. We cannot precisely 
call them unaffected, but they have a life-like look and a 
distinction of style which are wholly admirable. His por- 
traits include, as will be seen by the list appended to this 
biography, most of the remarkable characters of the close 
of the eighteenth century. A collection of them would form 
a singularly interesting illustration of the political, social 
and intellectual life of London under George III. Each is 
vigorously portrayed, with some little mannerism, indeed, but 
with real vitality, as he or she was, and this happy realism 
is Nollekens' great and lasting claim to our admiration. 

A fourth sculptor, contemporary with Bacon, Banks and 
Nollekens, was Giuseppe Ceracchi, who came to England 
in 1773, and was employed in bas-relief work by Adam, 
and other architects. To him, in all probability, is due 
much of the beautiful relief- work we admire in the domestic 
decoration of Adam's houses. He was the master of the 
Hon. Mrs. Damer, and at one time found a great deal of 
employment in London. But he was of a restless spirit, and 
soon migrated to Paris, where he was concerned, in 1801, in 
a plot to assassinate Napoleon. Being condemned to death, 
he was dragged to the guillotine, dressed as a Roman 
Emperor, in a classical car which he had himself designed. 

It was long before a new generation of sculptors arose, 
with Flaxman at their head. Among the few names which 
arrest us in the interval, two attract notice for the pathos 
of their lives and the singularity of their manners. John 
Deare is principally remembered by what Smith, who knew 
him well, has preserved about his career. He was born in 
Liverpool in 1759. He was a prodigy of early talent, and 
made a wooden copy of the skeleton of an adult person, 
with his penknife, at the age of ten years. In considera- 



tion of his skill he was taken, when only sixteen, into the 
employment of Thomas Carter, an old-fashioned but popular 
statuary, who had been the earliest employer of Koubiliac. 
The exquisite precision of Deare's work was admired from 
the first, and when he was only twenty he gained the gold 
medal of the Royal Academy for a group of \ Adam and 
Eve.' A number of Deare's letters have been preserved, 
and give a valuable series of impressions of the habits of a 
young sculptor of that time. Bacon was pleased to patronize 
him, and in 1783 he was astonished at his own prosperity. 

In 1785 the Royal Academy, greatly impressed with the 
genius and industry of Deare, sent him to Italy. Here he 
immediately found employment, and won the ecstatic 
admiration of Canova. Had he returned to England, he 
would certainly have been immediately elected an A.R.A., 
but he married ' a clever little Roman girl, who is at least 
my equal,' and adopted the Italian style of living. Deare 
habitually overworked himself, and was extremely nervous 
and eccentric. He was always saying his prayers, and as 
he believed it right never to pray unless in a stark-naked 
condition, these orisons were injurious to his health. He 
went further, and being convinced that he would gain 
inspiration by spending the night sleeping on a block of 
marble before he began to carve it, he caught a violent 
cold, and died at Rome on August 17, 1795. 

Another youog man of genius, carried off untimely, was 
Thomas Procter, born at Settle, in Yorkshire, in 1753. He 
lost a great deal of time in trying to be a painter, but 
when at length he began to model, he astonished the 
studios. He caused a sensation by producing a statue of 
'Ixion on the Wheel,' which Reynolds persuaded Sir 
Abraham Hume to buy. This encouraged Procter to 
produce a large group of * Diomed devoured by his Horses,' 
which contemporary critics speak of in terms of the highest 
praise. Unfortunately, he did not get a commission for 
this elaborate work, which had occupied him twelve months, 


and in a fit of despondency he destroyed his model. The 
Academicians, admiring his talents and desiring to help 
him, determined, in 1793, to send him to Rome, but Procter 
could not be discovered. Benjamin West undertook to 
search for him, and found him at length, dying of starvation 
and disappointment, in an attic in Clare Market. Help came 
too late, and a few days later the interesting artist died. 

Associated as a student with Deare and Procter, but 
more fortunate in his fate, was John Charles Felix Rossi, a 
man who, notwithstanding his exotic name, was of English 
birth, although of Italian descent. He was born, the son 
of a physician, at Nottingham, in 1762. He early showed 
a love of statuary, and was placed under an Italian sculptor 
in London, from whom he passed to the schools of the 
Royal Academy. In 1785 he gained a travelling student- 
ship, and went to Rome, returning to England three years 
later. He became an A.R.A. in 1798, shortly before the 
death of Bacon, to much of whose monumental work he 
succeeded. He is best known by a series of military monu- 
ments in St. Paul's Cathedral. Rossi outlived his popu- 
larity, and retired from the Academy on a pension. He 
did not die until 1839. 

It is very difficult to express an opinion on the work of 
Rossi, for the simple reason that he employed Italian 
carvers so clever that they took most of the individuality 
out of his modelling. His taste was classical, without any 
real leaning to the neo- Hellenic school of Banks, Flaxman, 
and Deare. His bust of Lord Thurlow, at Burlington 
House, is a very favourable example of his handicraft 
dignified, well-balanced and truer to nature than might be 
expected. Rossi marks a stage in the passage of iconic 
sculpture in England from Carlini to Chantrey, but he can 
hardly be spoken of as an individual force. 

Rossi, however, seems a great artist by the side of his 
colleague and rival, William Theed, who was born in 1764, 
and who enjoyed the honours of membership in the Royal 


Academy from 1811 till his death in 1817. In Theed, the 
neglect of nature and the living model, the attempt to give 
plastic forms to sentimental prettinesses and incorporeal 
ideas, is seen penetrating the English school, and he leads 
on directly to Westmacott, and the final decadence of 
Georgian ideal sculpture. It is strange that in the person 
of Theed Flaxman should not have seen an awful example 
of the danger of such fastidiousness of taste and dread of 
realistic violence as he himself was so fond of preaching. 
These refinements, practised by hands less amply inspired 
by genius and by the sense of beauty than those of Flaxman, 
led to nothing but the most deplorable ineptitude and 
feebleness. The visitor to the Diploma Gallery may 
glance at the marble alto-relievo of l Ganymede,' deposited 
there by the elder Westmacott in 1812 ; it is so disgrace- 
fully bad that it could not at the present day be admitted 
as the work of the roughest student in the schools. 

To follow the beautiful talent of Flaxman to the point 
where its slow development culminated, would lead us too 
far away from the world in which Nollekens flourished. 
Flaxman, moreover, was a highly imaginative designer, 
who occasionally carried into execution some of the dreams 
of beauty which were for ever passing before his pencil, 
but was not, in the strict sense, a very skilful statuary. 
He never learned to handle the marble with real confix 
dence, and the comparatively few works which he suc- 
ceeded in executing were too often stiff and mannered. 
Flaxman, with his devotion to Greek ideals of beauty, his 
fertile fancy, and his impatience of the manual toil of the 
sculptor, had little in common with the somewhat stolid 
and prosaic, but eminently workmanlike, statuaries to do 
justice to whom an attempt has been made in the preceding 
pages. His is the more attractive temperament, but they 
also are deserving of something better than the complete 
neglect which has for so long a. time overtaken them. 




Had it not been for the readiness with which John Thomas 
Smith gossiped about himself in his books, there might be 
little or nothing to record here regarding the author of the 
* Life of Nollekens.' Happily, he was not restrained by 
any excess of diffidence from recording incidents with 
which he was intimately connected, and we are able to 
string together enough of these loose autobiographical 
notes to form something of a picture of the man. As he 
is fond of reminding us, his memory was accurate and 
extremely tenacious, and his habit throughout life was to 
preserve papers and to note down occurrences. It is not 
his fault if too many of those eminent men of whose 
peculiarities he preserved a lively record have ceased to be 
interesting to us. He himself, it is to be feared, is no 
longer an object of much curiosity. Such as he was, how- 
ever, in his humdrum life of monotonous observation, we 
will endeavour to depict him. 

John Thomas Smith was born on the evening of June 23, 
1766, in a hackney coach, which was hurriedly bearing 
his mother back, from a visit to a brother in Seven Dials, 
to his father's house, No. 7, Great Portland Street, Maryle- 
bone. The child's grandfather, John Smith, had been a 
Shropshire clothier ; his father, Nathaniel Smith, ' sculptor 
and printseller,' had been a student in the St. Martin's 
Lane School with Nollekens, and had proceeded to the 
studio of Roubiliac when the latter became the pupil of 


Scheemakers. Nathaniel remained in the service of 
Roubiliac until, on January 15, 1762, he followed the body 
of that illustrious sculptor to his grave in St. Martin's 
Churchyard. The mother of John Thomas Smith had 
been a Miss Tarr, a member of the Society of Friends; 
her health was declining from his earliest infancy, and 
some of his infantile memories were connected with visits 
that she and he paid, for the benefit of her health, to the 
wells at Greenwich and at Kilburn. She died in 1779. It 
seems that Nathaniel Smith passed into the employment of 
his old friend and fellow-student, Nollekens, when the 
latter settled in London in 1770, and J. T. Smith was 
familiar from earliest childhood with the oddities of the 
remarkable artist whose biographer he was to become. 

An old star-gazer and tea-grouter,' to whom his mother 
took the child, prophesied that John Thomas Smith would, 
throughout life, 'be favoured by persons of high rank.' 
This prediction was first realized in 1778, when Mr. Charles 
Townley looked over the boy's shoulder as he was drawing 
in Nollekens' studio, and gave him half-a-guinea to buy 
paper and chalk. Dr. Samuel Johnson, also, about this 
time, patted his head and praised him for his application. 
Smith had, indeed, a little later, an interesting experience 
of Dr. Johnson's spirit, for he 'once saw him follow a 
sturdy thief, who had stolen his handkerchief in Grosvenor 
Square, seize him by the collar with both hands, and shake 
him violently, after which he quickly let him loose, and 
then with his open hand gave him so powerful a smack on 
the face that it sent him off the pavement staggering. 

On February 1, 1779, Smith followed the crowd to West- 
minster Abbey, and saw Garrick buried in Poets' Corner. 
When the boy was about fourteen he began to model, and 
he seems to have attracted the attention of Wilton, the 
sculptor, who gave him a letter of introduction to Barto- 
lozzi, it having been decided that John Thomas should be 
an engraver. Bartolozzi was kind, but refused to take a 


pupil, and in 1781 the Bishop of Peterborough (Dr. Hinch- 
liffe) persuaded John Keyse Sherwin, the painter-engraver, 
to take him in. J. T. Smith had by this time passed with 
tolerable credit through the schools of the Royal Academy, 
and he stayed working under Sherwin until 1784. Here he 
was kissed by the beautiful Perdita Robinson, who drove to 
the studio in a sky-blue chariot, with a basket of flowers so 
artfully painted in the centre of each panel as to look like 
a coronet when the carriage was in motion. In 1782 he 
helped to adjust the light at the successive sittings which 
Mrs. Siddons gave to Sherwin for her portrait. 

Sherwin was rapidly going down in the world, and in 
1784 Smith, then eighteen years of age, was glad to leave 
him. Mr. Richard Wyatt, the amateur, now employed him 
to make topographical drawings of the neighbourhood of 
Windsor, and thus the favourite labour of Smith's life was 
started. He was helped by Thomas Sandby, R.A., and in 
this year he formed the acquaintance of Flaxman, Blake, 
Samuel Woodford, and Paul Sandby. On three occasions, 
each of which he minutely describes, George III. met him 
and spoke to him. His thoughts turned to the stage for 
he was a good-looking fellow and in 1787 he was promised 
an engagement as an actor at the Royalty Theatre. This 
came to nothing, and he was obliged to seek for employ- 
ment as a drawing-master. For this purpose he settled in 
lodgings in Gerrard Street, Soho. In this same year, 1787, 
he exhibited for the first time at the Royal Academy, 
sending a drawing, in black chalk, of a famous beech-tree 
in Windsor Forest, which was purchased by the Earl of 
Warwick, at this period a useful patron of Smith. In 
1788 the artist married, and settled at Edmonton as a 
portrait-painter, under the patronage of Sir James Lake, 
Bart., of The Firs. 

While at Edmonton, Smith gave increasing attention to 
local topography, issuing, in 1791, the earliest of his 
publications, ' The Antiquities of London and its Environs.' 


To this followed, in 1797, his ' Remarks on Rural Scenery,' 
illustrated from nature by twenty original etchings of 
picturesque cottages. In May, 1798, the office of drawing- 
master to Christ's Hospital being vacant, J. T. Smith, 
warmly supported by half the Royal Academy, stood as 
a candidate, but was not successful ; the testimonials which 
he received, however, were so flattering, and from artists of 
such high renown, that he gave himself the satisfaction of 
printing them. J. T. Smith left Edmonton in 1795, and 
came back into London, practising as a portrait-painter 
and an engraver, while not neglecting his topographical 
inquiries. In 1807 his laborious and valuable work on 
' The Antiquities of Westminster ' was published for a large 
body of subscribers, and he was invited to treat Lichfield 
in the same way, but could not be persuaded to leave the 
London to which he was so deeply devoted. The result of 
his further studies appeared, in instalments, between 1810 
and 1815, as 'The Ancient Topography of London,' while 
in the last-mentioned year he issued his popular volume, 
1 The Streets of London,' a series of etchings. 

On July 23, 1816, William Alexander, the recently- 
appointed and first Keeper of the Prints and Drawings at 
the British Museum, died of brain-fever. Smith was a 
candidate for the vacant post, and had by this time become 
so distinguished in his own line that the Archbishop of 
Canterbury, one of the three electors, * was astonished he 
should think it worth while to waste his strength in pursuit 
of such a trifling office.' In September, 1816, Smith was 
appointed, and held the keepership until his death. He 
continued his literary work, and in 1817 published ' Vaga- 
bondana,' sixty portraits drawn and etched from life by 
himself, with biographical sketches of the most remark- 
able London beggars of the time. As the reader of the 
present volume will discover, Nollekens, when he died in 
1823, was found to have made Smith joint executor of his 
will, in company with Sir William Beechy and Francis 


Douce, leaving him at the same time, for his trouble, 
100. The smallness of this legacy caused J. T. Smith, 
who had reason to expect a much larger benefaction, a 
violent disappointment, and his rancour against Nollekens 
could not be appeased. He revenged himself by writing 
what is perhaps the most candid biography ever published 
in the English language. 

Smith did not long survive the publication of his ' Life of 
Nollekens.' He died, after a very few days' illness, at his 
house in University Street, Tottenham Court Road, on 
March 8, 1833, not having completed his sixty-seventh 
year. He was buried eight days later in the burial-ground 
of St. George's Chapel, Bayswater. The Gentleman's 
Magazine paid the following tribute to his memory : 

1 Mr. Smith was very generally known, both from the 
various works which he had published, and from the public 
situation which he filled at the British Museum. He was 
possessed of much kindness of disposition ; many an 
instance might be mentioned of his charitable and friendly 
assistance to young artists who have sought his advice. 
He had good judgment to discern merit where it existed, 
sufficient good feeling to encourage it in a deserving object, 
and sufficient candour to deter from the pursuit where he 
found there was no indication of talent. In short, he was 
a very warm and sincere friend, and he will be greatly 
regretted by many who, have enjoyed his good-humoured 
conversation and ever-amusing fund of anecdote, and par- 
ticularly by the frequenters of the Print Room at the 
Museum, where his unremitting attentions ensured for him 
the regard and respect of some of the first characters in 
the country.' 

At the time of his death, J. T. Smith had prepared for 
the press a pleasant olio of gossip and reminiscence, which 
was presently published under the title of ' A Book for a 
Rainy Day.' The pictorial works of Smith have consider- 
able merit. His landscapes and architectural drawings, in 


the eighteenth-century manner, have great accuracy, and 
he was a skilful etcher at a time when this art was but 
little practised in England. The reader of his 'Life of 
Nollekens ' does not need to be assured that he was a most 
whimsical and vivacious writer. 

E. G. 




Roscoe, who wrote the anonymous Preface to Daulby's 
* Catalogue of Rembrandt's Etchings,' says : ' The history 
of a man of genius is, in general, that of his productions.' 
In the following memoir I trust to do more than this ; and 
to delineate the life, not only of a ' man of genius/ but of a 
most eccentric character. 

To dispense with the old custom of presenting a letter of 
introduction, or sending in my card to those to whom I am 
unknown, would be irregular ; the reader, therefore, is in- 
formed, that I believe there can be no one better acquainted 
with the extraordinary characteristics of the man of whom 
the following anecdotes are related than myself, having 
been his pupil for the space of three years, and intimately 
known to him for nearly sixty. When I was anunfant he 
frequently danced me upon his knee. 

With regard to pecuniary and domestic habits, I am 
convinced that England has not produced such a character 
since the death of Elwes. 


In the course of these pages I have acknowledged my 
obligations to several friends for their kind communications, 
and here hope for their pardon for having reserved this 
place for my best thanks to my friend Mr. Richard 
Thomson, the well-known author and editor of numerous 
interesting works, for his kindness in many instances. 


Keeper of the Prints and Drawings in the 
British Museum. 
October, 1828. 



Nollekens' pedigree His father frightened by the rebels in 1745 
Nollekens placed with Scheemakers the Sculptor His juvenile 
passion for tolling bells He gains premiums in the Society of Arts 
Leaves England for Rome Patronized there by Garrick and 
Sterne He gains the Pope's gold medal Exposed to assassination 
by Barry the painter Barry's rude and brutal conduct Nollekens 
a dealer in antiques Athenian Stuart Nollekens a botcher up of 
ancient fragments A lucky hit Successful smuggling by Nollekens 
His filthy mode of living in Rome He returns to London, and 
is chosen a member of the Royal Academy He falls in love and 
marries Figure and wedding-dress of his bride Fan-painting 
London antiquities. 

The grandfather of Mr. Nollekens was baptized at 
Antwerp on March 24, 1665 ; he was a painter, and 
made a long residence in England, but subsequently 
settled at Roanne, in France. His son, who is 
recorded by the various names of Joseph Franciscus, 
or Cornelius Franciscus, or Old Nollekens, as he is 
called by Walpole, the father of Joseph, the subject 
of these memoirs, was born at Antwerp, in the 
parish of St. Andre, on June 10, 1702, and came to 
England on May 3, 1733, where he married Mary 
Anne Le Sacq. As he had studied under Watteau, 
his pictures, in point of subject and scenery, were 
somewhat similar to those of his master, though in 
other respects they were far short of that tasteful 


artist's feeling ; however, he supported his family 
with respectability, and was even enabled to make 
some provision for the future. 

The following anecdote of Nollekens' father was 
communicated to me by James Northcote, Esq., 
K.A., who received it from our mutual friend, the 
late eminent sculptor, Thomas Banks, Esq., E.A. 
4 Old Nollekens,' observed he, 4 was a miserably 
avaricious man, and during the rebellion in 1745 
his house was marked as belonging to a Roman 
Catholic, and one in which the mob thought them- 
selves sure of finding money. However, they did 
not visit him ; but the idea had seized him so 
seriously that he lingered in a state of alarm until 
his death, which took place in Dean Street, Soho. 
He was buried at Paddington, in 1747, 1 under the 
names of Joseph Francis Nollekens, leaving a wife, 
by whom he had five children viz., John Joseph, 
baptized January 29, 1735 ; Joseph, the subject of 
the present volume, born and baptized August 11, 
1737, at the Roman Catholic Chapel, in Duke 
Street, Lincoln's Inn Fields ; Maria Joanna Sophia, 
baptized May 3, 1739 ; Jacobus, baptized April 10, 
1741 ; and Thomas Charles, baptized May 31, 1745.' 

My late father, Nathaniel Smith, and Joseph 
Nollekens were playfellows, and both learned 
drawing together at Shipley's School, then kept in 
the Strand, at the eastern corner of Castle Court ; 
the house, now No. 229, is at present occupied by 
Mr. Helps. What renders the building the more 

1 Old Nollekens died in the parish of St. Anne's, Soho, on January 21, 
1748. Ed. 


interesting is that it was not only in this house that 
the Society of Arts had its first meetings, but it was 
subsequently inhabited by Rawle, the antiquary, and 
friend of Captain Grose. On August 7, 1755, my 
father was placed with L. F. Roubiliac j 1 and Joseph, 
in 1750, being then in his thirteenth year, under 
the care and instruction of Peter Scheemakers, 2 an 
eminent sculptor, at that time residing in Vine 
Street, Piccadilly, on the site of the present Court 
of Requests. Joseph's mother subsequently married 
a Welshman, named Williams, who some years 
before her death conducted her to his native place. 
Joseph Nollekens was considered by all the 
neighbours of Vine Street as a civil, inoffensive lad, 
but not particularly bright ; however, Mrs. Schee- 
makers used to give this character of him, that 
' Joey was so honest that she could always trust 
him to stone the raisins.' His love for modelling 
was the greatest pleasure he possessed, though it is 
true that he had an idle propensity for bell-tolling, 
and in that art, for which many allowed him to 
have a superior talent, he would frequently indulge 
by running down George Court to St. James's 
Church to know how funerals went on. He was 
well known both to the sexton and his man, who 
generally accosted him with the joyous exclamation 
of, ; What, my little Joey, are you come ? Well, 
you must toll to-day !' Whenever his master 

1 Where he remained until the death of that sculptor, January 11, 
1762. Ed. 

2 Scheemakers, born about 1700, was a native of Antwerp. He left 
England in 1 769, and died soon after. He executed many monuments 
in London, and was a formidable rival to Roubiliac. Ed. 


missed him, and the dead-bell was tolling, he knew 
perfectly well what Joey was at. 

He had so little pride that he himself has stated 
he was often met slowly and steadily creeping along 
to save the head of a pot of porter, which the maids 
had sent him for on a washing clay ; but notwith- 
standing all his childish inclinations, he was, as 
he grew up, not unmindful of his art, rose early, 
practised carefully, and being a true son of his 
father, passionately fond of money, started for the 
prizes offered by the Society of Arts ; and it gives 
me infinite pleasure to state that Joseph Nollekens 
and Nathaniel Smith, mv father, carried off some 
of the first and best of its premiums, as will appear 
by the following extracts from the Registrar's 
books : 

1 In 1759, to Joseph Nollekens was adjudged the sum of lbl. 15s. for 
a model in clay of figures. In 1760, for a model in clay, a bas-relief, 
31Z. 10s. ; and in the same year, for a model in clay of a daucing Faun, 
10Z. 10s.' 

As Mr. Nollekens' mother had married a Welsh- 
man, who was partial to his native air, he easily 
persuaded her to accompany him into Wales ; and 
the brothers and sisters of Nollekens being all 
abroad, he had no motive to induce him to give up 
an inclination he had long entertained of travelling 
to see the works of Michael Angelo, and of other 
great men. He, therefore, after having served his 
friendly master full ten years, without the exchange 
of one unpleasant word, left England for Rome in 
the year 1760, with all the little property he had 


Taking Paris in his way, lie called upon his 
uncle, who, from his questions and cool manner of 
half opening the street-door, appeared to doubt the 
veracity of his visitor. However, upon his seeing 
him in possession of a gold watch, he was tempted 
to ask him in, and slightly pressed him to stay 
dinner, but this invitation Nollekens, who had felt a 
chill, proudly declined. 

On his arrival at Rome, he found his purse 
reduced to twenty-one guineas, and, from a dread 
of want of money, he soon executed a basso-relievo 
in stone, which he consigned to England, and for 
which, in 1760, he had the honour of receiving a 
prize of 10 10s. ; but his spirits were exhilarated 
to a much higher degree in 1762, bv the vote of a 
prize of 52 10s. for a basso-relievo in marble, 
which is thus clumsily noticed in the Public 
Advertiser of Tuesday, May 25, 1762 : 

{ At a meeting of the Society of Polite Arts, on Friday last, for 
a marble basso-relievo, the subject Timocles conducted before 
Alexander, the premium of fifty guineas was given to Mr. Joseph 
Nollekens, pupil of Mr. Scheemakers.' 

Whilst Mr. Nollekens was at Rome, he was 
recognised by Mr. Garrick with the familiar ex- 
clamation of, ' What ! let me look at you ! Are 
you the little fellow to whom we gave the prizes at 
the Society of Arts ?' ' Yes, sir,' being the answer, 
Mr. Garrick invited him to breakfast the next 
morning, and kindly sat to him for his bust, for 
which he paid him 12 12s. ; and I have not only 
often heard Mr. Nollekens affirm that the payment 

3 " 


was made in ' gold,' but that this was the first busto 
he ever modelled. 

Sterne also sat to him when at Rome, 1 and that 
bust brought him into great notice. With this 
performance Nollekens continued to be pleased even 
to his second childhood, and often mentioned a 
picture which Dance had made of him leaning upon 
Sterne's head. During his residence in Italv he 
gained the Pope's gold medal for a basso-relievo, 
which will be afterwards noticed. 

Barry, 2 the historical painter, who was extremely 
intimate with Nollekens at Rome, took the liberty 
one night, when they were about to leave the 
English coffee-house, to exchange hats with him 
Barry's was edged with lace, and Nollekens' was a 
very shabby plain one. Upon his returning the hat 
the next morning, he was requested by Nollekens to 
let him know whv he left him his s;old-laced hat. 
4 Why, to tell you the truth, my dear Joey,' 
answered Barry, ' I fully expected assassination last 
night, and I was to have been known by my laced 
hat.' This villainous transaction, which might 
have proved fatal to Nollekens, I have often heard 
him relate ; and he generally added, c It's what the 
Old Bailey people would call a true bill against 
-Jem.' Although Barry was of an irritable and 
vindictive spirit, yet, after ridiculing Nollekens 
upon almost every subject, he would not scruple to 
accept little acts of kindness at his hand, and then 
with the greatest brutality insult him. 

1 In the winter of 1765. Ed. 

2 James Barry (1741-1806), elected A.R.A. in 1772, R.A. in 1773, 
and expelled from the Royal Academy in 1799. Ed. 


I remember an instance of this kind of conduct, 
which took place soon after Barry had completed 
the etchings from his pictures in the Adelphi. 
Nollekens, who was quite delighted in procuring 
him subscribers, once called out to him as he 
entered the studio, ' Well, Jem, I have been very 
successful for you this week : do you know, I have 
procured you three more subscribers to your prints 
from the 'Delphi pictures !' Barry, instead of even 
returning a smile for his kindness, or thanking him 
by a nod, flew into a most violent passion, and, 
uttering the coarsest imprecations, of which he 
possessed a boundless variety, bade him to attend 
in future to his own business, and not to solicit 
subscriptions to his works, adding, after the utter- 
ance of a most wretched oath, that if the nobility 
wanted his works, they knew where he was to be 
found, and they might come to him he wanted no 
little jackanapes to go between him and those who 
ought to apply at once to the principal. And all 
this bombast was because Nollekens had declared 
his success in the presence of his workmen in the 
studio. Had he received the information in his 
parlour all would have been well, and he would 
have pocketed the money, as he had done frequently 
before ; for to my own knowledge Mr. Nollekens 
procured him several names of personages of the 
highest rank. 

During Mr. Nollekens' residence at Rome he 
purchased, among other articles, by which he made 
considerable sums of money, numerous pieces of 
ancient Roman terra-cottas, some of exquisite taste, 


from the labourers who were employed in diggings 
gravel at Porta Latina : they were mostly dis- 
covered at the bottom of a dry well, and must 
evidently have been placed there for security. 
Xollekens, who bought them for a mere trifle, sold 
them, upon his arrival in England, to Mr. Townley, 1 
and, together with that gentleman's marbles, they 
have since been purchased by Government for a 
considerable sum, and are now let into the walls 
of the first room of the Gallery of Antiquities 
in the British Museum. In this collection there 
are many duplicates, which are so precisely like 
each other that, in all probability, they were pressed 
from the same mould. Independently of the 
graceful figures which are introduced in several of 
these compositions, the foliated ornaments are ex- 
tremelv lis;ht and beautiful. 

Mr. Xollekens, from the year 1761 to the time he 
left Rome, consigned several of his productions to 
his friend, Athenian Stuart, 2 who had undertaken, in 
consequence of an early intimacy, to see them 
placed in the best of the exhibitions in London, 
which he certainly did until the establishment of 
the Royal Academy ; and then, being inimical to 
the interests of that respectable body, he departed 
from his confidential trust, by suffering the works 
of Xollekens to be exhibited with those of the 

1 Charles Townley, born in 1737, died January 3, 1805. He was 
J. T. Smith's earliest admirer and patron. Ed. 

2 James Stuart, the architect, was born in 1713. He was one of 
the first men to make a minute study on the spot, between 1751 and 
1755, of ancient Greek architecture. In 1762 he published a valuable 
work on the antiquities of Athens. He died in 1788. Ed. 


rejected artists, who were certainly of the most 
inferior class. 

Mr. Nollekens, upon his return to England, dis- 
covered the treachery, and was so highly exas- 
perated with his pretended friend's conduct that he 
never entirely forgave him, though he certainly 
now and then visited him. 

The patrons of Nollekens, being characters pro- 
fessing taste and possessing wealth, employed him 
as a very shrewd collector of antique fragments, 
some of which he bought on his own account ; and 
after he had dexterously restored them with heads 
and limbs, he stained them with tobacco -water, 
and sold them, sometimes by way of favour, for 
enormous sums. 

My old friend, Mr. George Arnald, A.K.A., 1 
favoured me with the following anecdote, which he 
received immediately from Mr. Nollekens, con- 
cerning some of these fragments : Jenkins, a 
notorious dealer in antiques and old pictures, 
who resided at Rome for that purpose, had been 
commissioned by Mr. Locke, 2 of Norbury Park, to 
send him any piece of sculpture which he thought 
might suit him, at a price not exceeding one 
hundred guineas ; but Mr. Locke, immediately 
upon the receipt of a head of Minerva, which he 
did not like, sent it back again, paying the carriage 
and all other expenses. 

1 A landscape-painter, born in 1763, and elected A.R.A. in 1810. 
He was never promoted to be an R.A., but survived until 1841, He 
was the brother of Sebastian Wyndham Arnald, the sculptor. Ed. 

2 William Locke, the amateur, born in 17G7. Ed. 


Nollekens, who was then also a resident in Rome, 
having purchased a trunk of a Minerva for 50, 
found, upon the return of this head, that its pro- 
portion and character accorded with his torso. This 
discovery induced him to accept an offer made by 
Jenkins of the head itself, and two hundred and 
twenty guineas to share the profits. After Nollekens 
had made it up into a figure, or, what is called by the 
vendors of botched antiques, ' restored it,' which he 
did at the expense of about twenty guineas more for 
stone and labour, it proved a most fortunate hit, for 
they sold it for the enormous sum of one thousand 
guineas! and it is now at Newby, in Yorkshire. 
The late celebrated Charles Townlev and the late 
Henry Blundell, Esqs., were two of his principal 
customers for antiques. Mr. Nollekens was like- 
wise an indefatigable inquirer after terra-cottas, 
executed by the most celebrated sculptors, Michael 
Angelo, John di Bologna, Fiamingo, etc. The best 
of these he reserved for himself until the day of his 

The late Earl of Bes[s] borough and the late Lord 
Selsey were much attached to Mr. Nollekens at this 
time, but his greatest friend was the Lord Yar- 
borough. 1 For that nobleman he executed many 
very considerable works in marble, for which he 
received most liberal and immediate payment. 
Xollekens, who wished upon all occasions to save 
every shilling he possibly could, was successful in 

1 This was Charles Anderson-Pelham, raised to the peerage as 
Baron Yarborough in 1794. He died in 1823. He was the father of 
the first Earl. Ed. 


another manoeuvre. He actually succeeded as a 
smuggler of silk stockings, gloves and lace ; his 
contrivance was truly ingenious, and perhaps it 
was the first time that the Custom House officers 
had ever been so taken in. His method was this : 
All his plaster busts being hollow, he stuffed them 
full of the above articles, and then spread an out- 
side coating of plaster at the back across the 
shoulders of each, so that the busts appeared like 
solid casts. I recollect his pointing to the cast of 
Sterne, and observing to the late Lord Mansfield : 
' There, do you know, that busto, my lord, held 
my lace ruffles that I went to Court in when I came 
from Koine.' 

His mode of living when at Rome was most 
filthy : he had an old woman, who, as he stated, 
c did for him,' and she was so good a cook that she 
would often give him a dish for dinner which cost 
him no more than threepence. ' Nearly opposite 
to my lodgings,' he said, 'there lived a pork- 
butcher, who put out at his door at the end of the 
week a plateful of what he called cuttings, bits of 
skin, bits of gristle, and bits of fat, which he sold 
for twopence, and my old lady dished them up with 
a little pepper and a little salt ; and, with a slice of 
bread and sometimes a bit of vegetable, I made a 
very nice dinner.' Whenever good dinners were 
mentioned he was sure to say : ' Ay, I never tasted 
a better dish than my Roman cuttings.' 

By this time the name of Nollekens was pretty 
well known on the Stock Exchange of London as a 
holder to a considerable amount, and he arrived in 


England time enough to take a lease of the pre- 
mises, No. 9, Mortimer Street, Cavendish Square, 
then the property of Francis Milner Newton, 1 Esq., 
K.A., a very indifferent portrait-painter, who had 
been a pupil of Marcus Teuscher, an artist of no 
great talent, but a very good man. Mr. Newton 
was Muster-master of England, and srenerallv wore 
the Windsor uniform, and had also been secretary 
to the Royal Academy ever since its establish- 
ment. This office he resigned in 1788, and died at 
his house at Barton, near Taunton, in August, 

Mr. Nollekens soon turned the Muster- master's 
painting-room into a studio for sculpture, and was 
honoured with orders from some of the first person- 
ages in this countrv, who sat to him at all hours for 
their busts ; and so fashionable was he in that depart- 
ment of his art that I have known him to have four 
sitters in a day. Our sculptor now exhibited in Pall 
Mall with the Royal Academy, to which he presented 
a fine cast of the torso, having brought it from 
Rome for that purpose. In 177 1 2 the Academicians 
chose him an Associate, and in the following vear 
elected him R.A. With this election our late 
gracious King, when he signed his diploma, de- 

1 Born in 1720 ; foundation member and first secretary of the 
Royal Academy. Ed. 

2 Mr. Nollekens was invited to the funeral of Jonathan Richard- 
son, jun., son of the author of the work on 'Painting,' and the 
collector of many fine drawings. He died at his house in Queen 
Square, and was buried in the ground belonging to the parish, behind 
the Foundling Hospital, where it is recorded that he departed this life 
on June G, 1771, aged seventy-six. Smith. 


clared himself pleased in the most flattering terms 
of approbation, and immediately honoured him still 
more by sitting for his bnst. 

Mr. Nollekens now, for the first time, fell des- 
perately in love. The lady was Mary, the second 
daughter of Sanders Welch, Esq., the successor in 
the magistracy of his friend, Henry Fielding, on 
his departure for Lisbon. This lady, the pink of 
precision, bestowed her hand upon him, and they 
were married at the altar of Marylebone Church in 
the presence of her father and sister Anne. This 
lady, w T ho will be mentioned hereafter, was mistress 
of seven lan^uao-es. She was a Protestant when 
she attended her sister's marriage, but became 
a Roman Catholic shortly after her arrival at 

In what style of language their courtship was 
carried on, how Miss Mary became better acquainted 
with Master Joseph, or how far he was speech- 
gifted in Love's soft lispings, I am totally ignorant ; 
but it has been seen that Joseph was a c thriving 

Marv's figure was rather too tall, but vet orace- 
ful ; her eyes were good, and she knew how to 
play with them ; her blooming complexion stood 
in no need of milk of roses ; her nose, I must own, 
and it was the opinion of Nollekens, too, was rather 
of the shortest ; her teeth were small, bespeaking 
a selfish disposition ; indeed, the whole of her 
features were what her husband would sometimes 
call c scorny,' particularly in their latter days 
during their little fracas, for, be it known, she had 


no small sprinkling of pride, in consequence of a 
compliment paid her by Dr. Johnson. Her light 
hair shone in natural and beautiful ringlets down 
her back to the lower part of her tightly-laced 
waist such a shaped waist as her fathers friend, 
Fielding, has given Sophia Western in his c Tom 

This ladv's interesting figure on her wedding- 
day was attired in a sacque aiid petticoat of the most 
expensive brocaded white silk, resembling network, 
enriched with small flowers, which displayed in the 
variation of the folds a most delicate shade of 
pink, the uncommon beauty of which was greatly 
admired. The deep and pointed stomacher was 
exquisitely gimped and pinked, and at the lower 
part was a large pin consisting of several diamonds, 
confining an elegant point-lace apron, certainly at 
that period rather unfashionable, but on this happy 
event affectionately worn by the lady in memory 
of her dear mother, who had presented it to her 
indeed, Mrs. Nollekens was frequently heard to 
declare that she was above ' the fleeting whimsies 
of depraved elegance.' The sleeves of this dress 
closelv fitted the arm to a little below the elbow, 
from which hung three point-lace ruffles of great 
depth ; a handkerchief of the same costly texture 
partly concealed the beauty of her bosom, wherein, 
confined by a large bow, was a bouquet of rose- 
buds, the delicate tints of which were imperceptibly 
blended with the transparency of her complexion, 
and not a little increased the beauty of a triple row 
of pearls, tied behind with a narrow white satin 


ribbon. Her beautiful auburn hair, which she 
never disguised by the use of powder, according to 
the fashion of the day, was upon this occasion 
arranged over a cushion made to fit the head to a 
considerable height, with large round curls on 
either side, the whole being surmounted by a small 
cap of point-lace, with plaited flaps, to correspond 
with the apron and ruffles. 1 Her shoes were com- 
posed of the same material as her dress, orna- 
mented with silver spangles and square Bristol 
buckles, with heels three inches and a half in 
height, as if she meant to exult in out-topping her 
little husband, whose head, even when he had his 
hat on, reached no higher than her shoulder. 

Mrs. Nollekens' father was at the expense of 
her marriage wardrobe, which cost about 200 : 
among her dresses was one of a fashionable 
Carmelite, a rich purple brown, and another con- 
sisted of a lavender silk, brocaded with white, and 
enriched with bouquets of carnations, auriculas, 
and jessamines the size of nature. The bride- 
groom's dress was a suit of ' Pourpre du Pape,' silk 
stockings with broad blue and white stripes, and lace 
ruffles and frill, the whole of which articles he had 

1 In looking at the dresses of former days, it is curious to see in 
what a short time fashions rise and fall from one extreme to another. 
In 1760, when the lace apron was declining in favour, a lady wore her 
hair short and thin, and quite close to her head, with a small flower or 
ornament on the top of her forehead, nor was it until 1769 that the 
head-dress was much increased ; but in 1772 it became preposterously 
high, under the most fashionable leader of the day, D. Ritchie, hair- 
dresser and dentist, then living in Rupert Street, two doors from 
Coventry Street. In 1777 sacques disappeared, and the large bell- 
hoops came into fashion. Smith. 


brought from Kome. His hair was dressed in curls 
on either side, with an immense toupee, and finished 
with a small bag tied as closely as possible to his 
neck. Mrs. Holt, who was Mrs. Nollekens' 
domestic companion for many years, and who 
attended Mr. Nollekens in his last illness, has 
enabled me to be thus minute in my description of 
the dresses worn by the bride and bridegroom. 

Mrs. Nollekens had a tolerable stock of reading 
and a pretty good memory, but no sound knowledge 
of any of the superior accomplishments of her sex, 
as her youthful studies went very little beyond 
delicate needlework and translating French. She 
never knew the pleasures of a mother, for, in her 
opinion, ' children were serious responsibilities ' ; 
and her matrimonial amusements were not like 
those of the good Vicar of Wakefield's wife, for I 
never heard of her making gooseberry wine : a 
game at cribbage, or a rubber at whist, was her 
delight ; but then she made it a rule never to risk 
more than sixpence the rub, for which resolution 
most well-thinking persons will give her credit ; 
but then, when primly seated, she would insist 
upon the nice precision of the game, as her mother 
played it, c according to Hoyle, Mr. Edward Hojde.' 1 
In this way of passing time, for she knew nothing 
of drawing or j)ainting, she would now and then, 
when at home, coax her Nolly to join her ; but 
rarely suffered him to touch a card when they were 

1 Mrs. Nollekens recollected that Hoyle, the author of a treatise on 
the game of whist, was buried at Marylebone, August 23, 1769, and 
that he was ninety years old when he died. Smith. 


visiting, on account of his playing so ill that he 
was sure to lose. 

It gives me the highest gratification to observe 
that painting is now considered so essential a branch 
of polite education that many persons, who are dis- 
tinguished both for elegance and fashion, are never 
more delighted than when they are engaged in its 
interesting pursuits. When Mrs. Nollekens was a 
girl, Goupy, 1 her father's intimate friend, was con- 
sidered the most eminent of the fan-painters ; and 
so fashionable was fan-painting at that time, that 
the family of Athenian Stuart placed him as a pupil 
to that artist, conceiving that by so doing they had 
made his fortune. Stuart's genius, however, in a 
short time soared to the pinnacle of fame by flying 
to Athens for those inestimable treasures which will 
immortalize his name, notwithstanding Hogarth's 
satire upon the publication of his first volume ; 
for, indeed, we have not now a student who speaks 
of Stuart without the honourable surname of 
c Athenian.' 

Some years before I had any connection with 
Mr. Nollekens as an instructor, my intercourse with 
him was frequent, notwithstanding the disparity of 
our ages ; and he has often taken me to walk with 
him in various parts of London, when he seemed to 
feel a pleasure in pointing out curious vestiges and 
alterations to my notice, as well as in showing me 
some remarkable sights of the time. Perhaps these 
communications gave the first impetus to that love 

1 Joseph Goupy, a Frenchman, the drawing-master of Frederick, 
Prince of Wales. He died in 1763. Ed. 


for Metropolitan antiquities which I entertained so 
early, and which even now continues unabated. 
His recollections of many of the places we visited 
often furnished me with curious and interesting 
pictures of London as it appeared in his own youth ; 
and several of the most singular of them I have 
ventured to introduce into these anecdotes. 



Execution of Sixteen-string Jack Model of the King's state coach 
Sir Nathaniel Dance Holland Tradesmen's signs sometimes painted 
by eminent artists Costly one of Shakespeare exposed for sale 
Ignatius Sancho Mortimer the painter and Mr. Payne Knight 
Duke of Monmouth's house in Soho Marylebone basin and gardens 
and Cockney Ladle Fruit-gardens in Gower Street Commence- 
ment of my own acquaintance with Nollekens His servant Bronze 
Hudson's sale of prints, and anecdote of Sir J. Reynolds Nol- 
lekens' recollections of London Athenian Stuart Colonel King 
Residents of rank in Soho Streets visible at one point Nollekens' 
first print and subsequent collection Recollections of his mother 
Farthing posts and early newspapers Characteristics of Mrs. 
Nollekens Dr. Johnson's bust by Nollekens His odd conduct to 
his sisters His parsimonious habits His monument for Dr. 

I remember well, when I was in my eighth year, 
Mr. Nollekens calling at my father's house in Great 
Portland Street, and taking me to Oxford Eoad to 
see the notorious Jack Rann, commonly called 
4 Sixteen-string Jack,' go to Tyburn to be hanged 
for robbing Dr. William Bell, in Gunnersbury Lane, 
of his watch and eighteen-pence in money ; for 
which he received sentence of death on Tuesday, 
October 26, 1774. The criminal was dressed in a 
pea-green coat, with an immense nosegay in the 
buttonholes, which had been presented to him at 


St. Sepulchre's steps ; and his nankeen small-clothes, 
we were told, were tied at each knee with sixteen 
strings. After he had passed, and Mr. Nollekens 
was leading me home by the hand, I recollect his 
stooping down to me and observing, in a low tone 
of voice : ' Tom, now, my little man, if my father- 
in-law, Mr. Justice Welch, had been High Constable, 
we could have walked by the side of the cart all 
the way to Tyburn.' 

I also remember, one Sunday morning, going 
with my father and Mr. Nollekens to see the studio 
and workshop of the late Joseph Wilton, 1 Esq., K. A., 
father of the present Lady Chambers, and friend of 
Barretti. Wilton, on his return from his travels, 
brought Capizzoldi and Cipriani 2 to this country. 
Mr. Wilton's studio stood on the south side of 
Queen Anne Street East, now called Foley Place, 
upon the site of five houses, Nos. 22, 23, 3 24, 25, 
and 26 ; in the house No. 27, at the corner of Fort- 
land Street, Mr. Wilton resided for many years. 
We viewed his works, and the model of King 
George III.'s state coach, a most beautiful little 
toy, exquisitely adorned with ornaments modelled 
in wax by Capizzoldi and Yoyers, the panels being 
painted in water-colours by Cipriani. The designs 
consisted of figures and historical emblems, and 

1 Joseph Wilton (1722-1803), the sculptor. See prefatory essay. 

2 Giovanni Battista Cipriani, born in Florence in 1727, arrived in 
England in 1756, became a foundation member of the Royal Academy, 
and died in 1785. Ed. 

3 No. 23 was the residence of Edward Malone, Esq., the well-known 
editor of Shakespeare. Smith. 


Cipriani also painted the same subjects upon the 
coach itself ; but he was not the first eminent artist 
who had tlms adorned a carriage, or even painted a 
sign. The old royal state coach was purchased by 
the City of London, the panels of which were 
repainted by Dance, 1 afterwards Sir Nathaniel 
Dance Holland, Bart., who was the painter of that 
most admirable whole-length picture of Garrick in 
' Richard III.,' now in the front drawing-room of 
Sir Watkin Williams Wynn, Bart., in his town 
mansion, St. James's Square. 

Mr. Smirke, 2 the celebrated artist, also served 
his time under a herald-painter, of the name of 
Bromley, who died lately in Queen Street, Lincoln's 
Inn Fields. 

George Morland 3 painted a sign of a white lion 
for a public -house at Paddington. 

Monamy, 4 the famous marine-painter, decorated 
a carriage for the gallant and unfortunate Admiral 
Byng, with ships and naval trophies ; and he also 
painted a portrait of Admiral Vernon's ship, for a 
famous public-house of the day, well known by the 
sign of the 'Porto Bello,' remaining until recently 
within a few doors north of the church in St. 
Martin's Lane. After the battle of Culloden, most 
of the old signs of military and naval victors gave 
way to the head of Duke William ; and Horace 

1 Nathaniel Dance (1734-1811), a foundation member of the Royal 
Academy. En. 

2 Robert Smirke (1752-1845), elected A.R.A. in 1791, and R.A. in 
1793. He was a great illustrator of books. Ed. 

3 George Morland (1763-1804), the famous animal-painter. Ed. 

4 Pierre Monamy (1G70-1749), an imitator of Van de Velde. Ed. 



Walpole has noticed this change in his thirteenth 
letter to Mr. Conway, dated April 16, 1747. 

1 1 was,' says that elegant author, ' yesterday out 
of town, and the very signs, as I passed through the 
villages, made me make very quaint reflections on 
the mortality of fame and popularity. I observed 
how the Duke's head had succeeded almost uni- 
versally to Admiral Vernon's, as his had left but 
few traces of the Duke of Ormond's. I pondered 
these things in my heart, and said unto myself, 
Surely all glory is but as a sign !' 

Clarkson, the portrait-painter, was originally a 
coach-panel and sign painter ; and he executed that 
most elaborate one of Shakespeare 1 which formerly 
hung across the street at the north-east corner of 
Little Russell Street, in Drury Lane ; the late Mr. 
Thomas Grignon informed me that he had often 
heard his father say that this sign cost 500. In 
my boyish days it was for many years exposed for 
sale for a very trifling sum at a broker's shop in 
Lower Brook Street, Grosvenor Square. The late 
Mr. Crace, of Great Queen Street, assured me that 
it was in his early days a thing that country people 
would stand and gaze at, and that that corner of the 
street was hardly passable. 

Charles Catton, 2 Esq., R.A., was also in early 
life a coach and sign painter ; he painted a lion as a 
sign for his friend Wright, a famous coach-maker, 

1 Edwards has erroneously given Wale the credit of this sign. 
Smith. Nathaniel Clarkson was born in 1724, and died in 1795. Ed. 

2 Charles Catton, the landscape-painter, was born in 1728, was a 
foundation member of the Royal Academy, and died in 1798. Ed. 


at that time living in Long Acre. This picture, 
though it has weathered many a storm, is still 
visible at the coach- maker's on the west side of 
Well Street, Oxford Street. Baker, 1 a famous 
flower-painter, decorated coach -panels with borders 
and wreaths of flowers ; and he made a most 
splendid display of his taste on the panels of the 
coach of the famous Dr. Ward, who enjoyed almost 
the whole practice of his profession, after he had 
so successfully set the sprained thumb of King- 
George II. Richard Wilson, the landscape-painter, 
once condescended to paint a sign of the ' Three 
Logger Heads,' for the house so called, near the 
spot where he died. 

In June, 1780, Mr. Nollekens took me to the 
house of Ignatius Sancho, 2 who kept a grocer's, or, 
rather, chandler's shop at No. 20, Charles Street, 
Westminster, a house still standing at the south- 
west corner of Crown Court. Mr. Nollekens having 
recollected that he had promised him a cast of his 
friend ; Sterne's bust, I had the honour of carrying 
it ; and as we pushed the wicket door, a little 
tinkling bell, the usual appendage to such shops, 

1 John Baker, born in 1736, was a foundation member of the Royal 
Academy, and died in 1771. Ed. 

2 An extraordinary literary character, a negro, who was born on 
board a slave-ship in 1729. He was patronized by the Duke of 
Montague, who made him his butler, and left him a legacy and an 
annuity at his death, when he took the shop above-mentioned. In his 
leisure hours he indulged his taste for music, painting, and literature, 
which procured him the acquaintance of several persons of distinction. 
He was the author of some pieces of poetry and a tract on the 
' Theory of Music '; and his letters, with his life by Jekyll, were pub- 
lished after his death for the benefit of his family. Smith. 


announced its opening. We drank tea with Sanclio 
and his black lady, who was seated when we entered 
in the corner of the shop, chopping sugar, sur- 
rounded by her little \ Sanchonets.' Sancho, know- 
ing Mr. Nollekens to be a loyal man, said to him, 
' I am sure you will be pleased to hear that Lord 
George Gordon is taken, and that a party of the 
guards is now escorting him in an old ramshackled 
coach to the Tower.' Nollekens said not a word, 
and poor Sancho either did not know or did not 
recollect that he was addressing a Papist. 

I can also recall Sancho's visiting Mr. Nollekens' 
studio ; he spoke well of art, and gave the f ollowing* 
anecdote of the late Richard Payne Knight 1 and 
Mortimer 2 the painter, with the latter of whom he 
was extremely intimate. Mr. Knight happening to 
call upon Mortimer at his house in Church Court, 
Covent Garden, expressed his uneasiness at the 
melancholy mood in which he found him. ' Why, 
sir,' observed Mortimer, ' I have many noble and 
generous friends, it is true ; but of all my patrons, 
I don't know one whom I could now ask to purchase 
an hundred guineas' worth of draivings of me, and 
I am at this moment seriously in want of that sum.' 
' Well, then,' observed Mr. Knight, ' bring as many 
sketches as you would part with for that sum to me 
to-morrow, and dine with me.' This he did, and 
enjoyed his bottle. Mr. Knight gave him two 

1 This eminent antiquary and collector was born in 1750, and died 
in 1824. Ed. 

2 John Hamilton Mortimer, born in 1741, was an eminent cricketer 
and a painter of high ambition. He was elected A.R.A. at the close 
of 1778, but died of fever a few weeks later, February 4, 1779. Ed. 


hundred guineas, which he insisted the drawings 
were worth ; and on this splendid reception, 
Mortimer, who was no starter, took so much wine 
that the next morning he knew not how he got 

About twelve o'clock at noon his bedside was 
visited by the late ' Memory Cooke,' who, after 
hearing him curse his stupidity in losing his two 
hundred guineas, produced the bag ! c Here, my 
good fellow !' cried Cooke, ' here is your money. 
Fortunately you knocked me up, and emptied your 
pockets on my table, after which I procured a 
coach and sent you home.' 

Ignatius Sancho died December 14, 1780, at his 
house already mentioned, and was buried in the 
Broadway, Westminster. 

Mr. Nollekens, on his way to the Roman Catholic 
chapel in Duke Street, Lincoln's Inn Fields, where 
he was christened, stopped to show me the dilapida- 
tions of the Duke of Monmouth's house in Soho 
Square. It was on the south side, and occupied the 
site of the houses which now stand in Bateman's 
Buildings ; and though the workmen were employed 
in pulling it down, we ventured to go in. The gate 
entrance was of massive ironwork supported by 
stone piers, surmounted by the crest of the owner 
of the house ; and within the gates there was a 
spacious courtyard for carriages. The hall was 
ascended by steps. There were eight rooms on the 
ground-floor ; the principal one was a dining-room 
towards the south, the carved and gilt panels of 
which had contained whole-length pictures. At the 


corners of the ornamented ceiling, which was of 
plaster, and over the chimney-piece, the Dnke of 
Monmouth's arms were displayed. 

From a window we descended into a paved yard, 
surrounded by a red brick wall with heavy stone 
copings, which was, to the best of my recollection, 
full twenty-five feet in height. The staircase was 
of oak, the steps very low, and the landing-places 
were tessellated with woods of light and dark 
colours, similar to those now remaining on the 
staircase of Lord Russell's house, late Lowe's Hotel, 
Covent Garden, and in several rooms of the British 

As we ascended, I remember Mr. Nollekens 
noticing the busts of Seneca, Caracalla, Trajan, 
Adrian, and several others, upon ornamented 
brackets. The principal room on the first-floor, 
which had not been disturbed by the workmen, was 
lined with blue satin, superbly decorated with 
pheasants and other birds in gold. The chimney- 
piece was richly ornamented with fruit and foliage, 
similar to the carvings which surround the altar of 
St. James's Church, Piccadilly, so beautifully exe- 
cuted by Grinling Gibbons. In the centre over this 
chimney-piece, within a wreath of oak-leaves, there 
was a circular recess which evidently had been 
designed for the reception of a bust. The beads of 
the panels of the brown window- shutters, which 
were very lofty, were gilt ; and the piers between 
the windows, from stains upon the silk, had pro- 
bably been filled with looking-glasses. The scaffold- 
ing, ladders, and numerous workmen rendered it too 


dangerous for us to go higher, or see more of this 
most interesting house. 

My father had, however, made a drawing of the 
external front of it, which I engraved for my first 
work, entitled ' Antiquities of London,' which has 
been noticed by Mr. Pennant 1 in his valuable and 
entertaining anecdotes of the Metropolis. 

One Sunday morning Mr. Nollekens took me to 
see the boys bathe in Marylebone basin. As we 
were ^ohis:, our attention was engaged by the 
beadles of the parish seizing the clothes of the lads 
who had gone into the small pond called Cockney 
Ladle, supplied with water by an arm which looked 
like a ladle from the basin ; this Cockney Ladle 
stood on the north of Portland Chapel, very near 
the spot now occupied by Mr. Booth, the bookseller, 
in Duke Street. The basin which was a very 
large circular and deep pond, fatal to many an 
inexperienced youth was farther in the fields on 
the site of part, of Portland Place and Mansfield 
Street. A small portion of the pond, denominated 
c The Six-and-Thirty,' still remains on the west 
side of the once-intended Carmarthen Square, at 
the end of Upper Gower Street, nearly opposite to 
the house in which I now reside a part of the 
town, until very lately, so perfectly healthy and 
free from the London smoke that at No. 33 in 
Gower Street a house till within these few years 
inhabited by the late Colonel Sutherland, well 
known at print-auctions, as well as to portrait- 
collectors, as a most extensive embellisher of 

1 Thomas Pennant, the naturalist (172G-1798). Ed. 


Clarendon's ' History of his Own Times ' grapes 
were ripened by the sun in the open air at the back- 
parlour window. 

Lord Eldon often speaks of the fine fruit of 
Gow r er Street, which his lordship enjoyed when he 
lived in the house now No. 42 ; indeed, he has 
also spoken in open court of the sad effect the 
smoke of London had upon his garden in Gower 
Street. A still more extraordinary fact is, that 
even so late as the year 1800, William Bentham, 
Esq., of No. 6, Upper Gower Street (a gentleman 
whose well-chosen collection of English topography 
is unquestionably the most select and perfect of 
any formed within my memory), had nearly twenty - 
five dozen of the finest-looking and most delicious 
nectarines, all fit for the table, gathered from three 
completely exposed trees ; and even since that time, 
the same garden, of the same gentleman, has pro- 
duced the richest-flavoured celerv in the greatest 

The orchestra of Marylebone Gardens, before 
which I have listened with my grandmother to hear 
Tommy Lowe sing, stood upon the site of the house 
now No. 17 in Devonshire Place, and very near 
where Mr. Fountain's boarding-school stood, nearly 
opposite to the old church, still standing in High 
Street. Mr. Fountain, who succeeded Mr. De la 
Place in this school, w r as once w r alking with Handel 
round Marylebone Gardens, and upon hearing music 
which he could not understand, observed to Handel, 
' This is d d stuff !' c It may be d d stuff, but 
it is mine,' rejoined Handel. 


Upon the death of my mother, in 1779, Mr. 
Nollekens, upon seeing some of my attempts in 
wax-modelling, kindly invited me into his studio. 
At that time my father was his principal assistant, 
and there I was employed in making drawings from 
his models of monuments, assisting in casting, and 
finally, though in a very unimportant degree, and 
with the humblest talent, in carving ; but I must 
state that I was entirely supported by my father, 
and I solemnly declare that from the hour of my 
first seeing Mr. Nollekens till the time of his deatli 
I never received, either directly or indirectly, the 
slightest remuneration from him, though whilst I 
was with him I have often stood to him as a model. 
Indeed, the only present he ever made me was three 
boxes of what had been black chalk, which he 
brought from Florence ; but it was so gray and 
rotten that it would not bear cutting, and was 
therefore worth nothing. This he knew upon 
asking me how I liked it, and his answer was, 
' Well, never mind, I shall give yon cause to 
remember me in a better way.' 

My being often closeted with him as his model, 
assisting him in casting, etc., gave me frequent 
opportunities of seeing and hearing much, particu- 
larly of his domestic habits, and the observations 
made by his sitters and visitors, who were persons 
of learning, rank, or beauty. As I have sometimes 
diverted my friends with a good-lmmonred imitation 
of Mr. and Mrs. Nollekens, I shall occasionally 
insert a few of their dialogues, which have either 
fallen under my own notice or were related to me 


by their old servant, Elizabeth Rosina Clements. 
She was a woman possessing a considerable share of 
drollery ; and from her complexion being of a 
chestnut - brown colour, somewhat tinctured with 
olive, she acquired from the shopkeepers, particu- 
larly those of Oxford Market, the nickname of 
Black Bet, but from the artists the more classical 
appellation of Bronze, under which she will here- 
after be mentioned. Indeed, she might very well 
call to mind the expression of Petrarch, who 
describes his female servant as being ' brown as a 
Libyan desert, and dry as a mummy.' 

Langforcl, who was the most fashionable auctioneer 
of his day, occupied the rooms in Co vent Garden 
now held bv Messrs. Robins, in the largest of which 
he sold that truly valuable collection of prints and 
drawings accumulated by Thomas Hudson, 1 the 
master of Sir Joshua Reynolds, and the most 
celebrated portrait-painter of his time. Though no 
very great artist, Hudson showed considerable ambi- 
tion and taste in his selection of the best specimens 
of art for his portfolios, particularly in the produc- 
tions of the Dutch schools. The choice impressions 
which he had accumulated from the plates of Rem- 
brandt, and his various and numerous drawings also 
from the hand of that wonderful master, would 
lead us to conclude him to have been his greatest 
favourite ; indeed, so extensive and precious were 
they that, I am informed, any ten collections united 
would not have equalled his either in merit or in 

1 Thomas Hudson died in 1779, aged seventy-eight. Ed. 


At this sale Mr. Nollekens was a constant atten- 
dant, and lie generally took me with him. I recollect 
Sir Joshua Reynolds who was present one evening 
when a drawing was knocked down to his pupil and 
agent, Mr. Score 1 after he had expatiated upon the 
extraordinary pow r ers of Rembrandt, assuring a 
gentleman with whom he was conversing that the 
effect which pleased him most in all his own pictures 
was that displayed in the one of Lord Ligonier on 
horseback, of which there is an engraving by Fisher, 
the chiaro-oscnro of which he conceived from a rnde 
woodcut upon a halfpenny ballad, which he pur- 
chased from the w r all of St. Anne's Church in 
Princes Street. 

Another time, as we were going to view the same 
curious collection, Mr. Nollekens stopped at the 
corner of Rathbone Place, and observed that when 
he was a little boy his mother often took him to 
the top of that street to walk by the side of a long 
pond near a windmill, which then stood on the site 
of the chapel in Charlotte Street ; and that a half- 
penny was paid by every person at a hatch belonging 
to the miller for the privilege of w r alking in his 
grounds. He also told me that his mother took 
him through another halfpenny hatch in the fields 
between Oxford Road and Grosvenor Square, the 
north side of which was then building. When we 
got to the brewhonse between Rathbone Place and 
the end of Tottenham Court Road he said he 
recollected thirteen large and fine w r alnnt - trees 
standing on the north side of the highway between 

1 William Score, the Devonshire portrait-painter. Ed. 


what was then vulgarly called Hanover Yard, after- 
wards Hanway Yard, and now Hanway Street, and 
the Castle Inn beyond the Star Brewery. 

I remember ^oiiis; w ith Mr. Nollekens to see his 
old friend Athenian Stuart, though he had treated 
him so scurvily. Stuart lived on the south side of 
Leicester Fields ; he had built a large room at the 
back of his house, in which were several of his 
drawings, particularly those he had made for a 
continuation of his work ; they were in body 
colours, and in stvle resembled those of Marco 
Ricci. His parlour, where we remained until a 
shower of rain was over, was decorated with some 
of Hogarth's most popular prints, and upon a fire- 
screen he had pasted an impression of the plate 
called the ' Periwigs,' a print which Mr. Stuart 
always showed his visitors as Hogarth's satire upon 
his first volume of ' Athenian Antiquities.' 

Mr. Stuart, though short, was not a fat, but 
rather a heavy-looking, man, and his face declared 
him to be fond of what is called friendly society. 
In his later days he regularly frequented a public - 
house on the north side of Leicester Fields, of the 
sign of the Feathers, which then stood upon the 
site of part of the ground of Mr. Burford's 
Panorama ; and of these friendly meetings he 
would frequently endeavour to persuade Nollekens 
to become a member. 

When we had left Mr. Stuart's house, Mr. 
Nollekens pointed out the one in St. Martin's 
Street that had been inhabited by Sir Isaac 
Newton, which he said was then occupied by his 


friend Dr. Burney, 1 who was visited by all the 
learned personages of the day. I have been 
favoured with a curious anecdote of Dr. Burney 
and Mr. Nollekens by my friend Lieutenant- Colonel 
Phillips, one of the two surviving gentlemen who 
went round the world with Captain Cook, which the 
reader will find in a subsequent page. 

Whilst we were standing at the end of Rathbone 
Place waiting for a coach for Mr. Nollekens now 
and then indulged in a shilling fare, particularly 
when he was going into the city to purchase stock, 
or to the Royal Academy, when he was chosen 
visitor he said, pointing to the house east of the 
undertaker's, now No. 23 : i There lived Colonel 
King, 2 one of my father's oldest friends ; he was 
a very great collector of all sorts of singular 
things, and had a very curious old shield which 
belonged to the famous Dr. Woodward, 3 who was 
intimately acquainted with the great Sir Christopher 

' Colonel King was very good-natured to me and 
my brothers, and whenever my father used to take 
us to drink coffee with him, we had our three- 

1 Charles Burney, the historian of music (1726-1814). Ed. 

2 Colonel Kichard King died in 1767, in his eighty-fourth year. He 
was visited by Pope and other celebrated men, and was executor to 
Dr. Woodward. Smith. 

3 This shield, which is now in the British Museum, has been 
erroneously attributed to Benvenuto Cellini. It is certainly of the 
time of Henry VIII., but of very coarse and inferior workmanship. 
I find by a letter in the fourth volume of ' Biographia Adversaria,' 
in the British Museum, that the Doctor's shield sold at the sale of 
Colonel King, to whom he had bequeathed it, for the sum of 40. 


cornered silver-laced hats on ; so we had on 
Sundays, when we used to go into St. James's 
Park, with our ruffles and canes ; I remember it 
very well.' When we had entered Soho Square, 
among many other remarks, he said that when he 
was a little boy, and lived in Dean Street, where 
he was born, at the house now No. 28, there were 
no fewer than four Ambassadors lived in that 
Square, and that at that time it was the most 
fashionable place for the nobility. 1 He also told 
me that Baptiste, the famous flower-painter, with 
whom he said his father was extremely intimate, 
lived and died in the corner house, pointing to the 
one now No. 18. 'And do you know,' added he, 
4 that I have often stood for hours together, to see 
the water run out of the jugs of the old river-gods 
into the basin in the middle of the square ; but,' 
he continued, c the water never would run out of 
their jugs, but when the windmill was going round 
at the top of Rathbone Place.' This windmill 
stood upon the site of Percy Chapel, in Charlotte 
Street, and the spring, wljich supplied the long 
pond before it, now remains in the cellar of Elisha, 
a bricklayer, behind the chapel. 

When we arrived at the French 'Change, Nolle- 

1 It appears from the books of the parish of St. Anne, which I have 
frequently searched, that between the years 1708 and 1772 the follow- 
ing persons of rank had inhabited Soho Square, viz. : Lord Berkeley, 
Lord Byron, Lord Carlisle, Lord Grimstone, Lord Howard, Lord 
Leicester, Sir Thomas Mansel, Lord Macclesfield, Lord Morpeth, 
Lord Nottingham, Lord Onslow, Lord Peterborough, Lord Pierre- 
point, Lord Pigot, Sir Cloudesley Shovel, and several Ambassadors. 


kens exclaimed : ' There, Tom, stand here, and yon 
will see the entrances of nine streets ; my mother 
showed them to me. There, stand just there, and 
don't turn vonr head, onlv vonr eyes ' niacins: me, 
with both his hands upon my shoulders, at about 
fifteen feet from Grafton Street, nearly in the 
centre of Moor Street. c There, now look to the 
left : is not there Monmouth Street ? now let your 
eye run along over the way to the first opening : 
that's Great White Lion Street ; well, now bring 
your eye back to the opposite street in front of 
you : that's Little Earl Street. Throw your eye 
over the Seven Dials, and you'll see Queen Street 
and Earl Street ; well, now look on the right of 
Little Earl Street, and you will see Tower Street : 
well, now stand still, mind, don't move, bring your 
eye back towards you, and turn it a little to the 
right, and you will see West Street ; bring it 
nearer to the right, and there's Grafton Street ; 
and then, look down at your toes, and you'll find 
yourself standing in Moor Street.' 

He also made me his companion in his Sunday 
evening walks, as he of later years did Joseph 
Bonomi, 1 a truly deserving youth, to whom it was 
generally supposed that he would have left a con- 
siderable part of his immense property, from his 
long-continued attachment to him from his birth ; 
but he, however, as well as many other real friends, 
was disappointed. 

1 This gentleman, who was born in 1796, survived until 1878. He 
was curator of the Soane Museum, and a distinguished Egyptolo- 
gist. Ed. 


In one of our amusing perambulations, he 
stopped opposite to a public-house in Vine Street, 
Piccadilly, very near the house formerly occupied 
by his master, Scheemakers, and said : ' There, 
Tom, stand just there ; now, mind what I am 
going to tell, and listen to it ; it was in that very 
house, over the way, I got the first print I ever 
possessed in my life.' 

This was an impression of Pesne's engraving of 
the ' Death of Eudamidas,' after a picture painted 
by Nicholas Poussin ; and the way in which 
Xollekens became possessed of this print was both 
cunning and curious. He knew that the landlord 
of the public-house, with whom he frequently held 
conversations as to bell-tolling, had sailed and 
fought with Admiral Vernon, and knowing, also, 
that he could purchase of another bell -tolling 
friend a large engraving of the ' Siege of Porto 
Bello,' for the small sum of one shilling, as it was 
the size of Poussin's print, he ventured to propose 
an exchange. To this proposition the landlord 
made no objection, nor did his wife ; so away little 
Joey posted to his friend, who was a broker, living 
in Great Brewer Street, parted with his shilling, 
and on the next washing-day, when Mrs. Schee- 
makers requested him, as the maids were busy, to 
go for the porter, he took ; Porto Bello ' under his 
arm, with as much joy as the old Admiral received 
the enemy's colours, and obtained the print which 
he had so often looked at with so longing an eye. 
Afterwards, when he became possessed of wealth, 
he formed a very capital collection of Poussin's 


works, 1 from which it has been asserted that he 
borrowed many attitudes for his monumental 
figures. Poussin's draperies were likewise so 
highly esteemed by him that he frequently adopted 
them, as this painter's drapery falls well, mostly in 
grand and broad folds,, and is unquestionably the 
easiest for carving, having no flutter, which is a 
style not only troublesome to execute in marble, 
but extremely expensive to cut, and bad in effect 
when accomplished. 

At another time, when he took me with him to 
his stockbroker's, as we were going up Ludgate 
Hill, he said that he recollected his mother taking 
him, when he was only four years old, to see St. 
Paul's ; and that, in going up that street, he 
observed a man running backwards and forwards 
shaking a box, into which many of the passengers 
put money, and that she told him it was for the 
poor prisoners in the Fleet, being called 'the 
running box.' In Marcellus Lauron's ' Cries of 
London,' published about the year 1710, there is a 
representation of such a person, with his cry of 
4 Kemember the poor prisoners !' inscribed beneath 
him. At his back a capacious covered basket is 
suspended by leathern straps round his arms for 
broken victuals ; and he carries in one hand a staff, 

1 This interesting and truly valuable collection of Poussin's prints, 
to which Mr. Nollekens had added even in his most feeble and 
childish state, was sold, after his death, by Mr. Evans, of Pall Mall, 
together with many other fine engravings which Mr. Nollekens had 
indulged in from several of Langford's and Christie's sales, to the 
latter of which rooms he was a constant visitor for nearly half a 
century. Smith. 



and in the other a small round deep box, with an 
aperture in the lid for receiving of alms in money. 
Nollekens always spoke well of his mother, 
observing that she was a very curious woman, 
and in his recollections of her stated that she pos- 
sessed an ivory model of the Holy Sepulchre ; 
that she remembered seeing the rebels, in 1745, 
brought into London, confined at the backs of 
the horse-soldiers ; that they were brought from 
Scotland through Tottenham Court Road, along^ 
Hog Lane, now called Crown Street, on their 
way to the Horse Guards ; and that she used 
to take in a newspaper, entitled All Alive and 
Merry; or, The London Daily Post, which was 
published at a farthing, and printed by c A Merry 
Man.' 1 The full title and imprint of this curious 
paper are, 4 All- Alive and Merry ; or, The London 
Daily Post. London : Printed for A. Merryman, 
and sold by the Hawkers.' It consisted of a small 
folio half- sheet, having three columns of letter- 

1 The following anecdote, given at this place by Smith in the first 
edition of his ' Life of Nollekens,' was omitted in the second, I know 
not for what reason : ' I have several times heard Mr. Nollekens 
observe that he frequently had seen Hogarth, when a young man, 
saunter round Leicester Fields, with his master's sickly child hanging 
its head over his shoulder ; and whilst we are speaking of that eminent 
and eccentric artist, I may remark that my father once asked Barry 
the painter if he had ever seen Hogarth. " Yes, once," he replied. 
" I was walking with Joe Nollekens through Cranbourne Alley, when, 
he exclaimed, ' There, there's Hogarth.' ' What !' said I, ' that little 
man in the sky-blue coat ? ! Off I ran, and though I lost sight of him 
only for a moment or two, when I turned the corner into Cattle Street 
he was patting one of two quarrelling boys on the back, and looking 
steadfastly at the expression in the coward's face, cried, ( D n him I 
if I would take it of him ! At him again !' " '--Ed. 


press on each side ; and several specimens of it 
may be seen in the late Dr. Burney's Collection of 
Newspapers in the British 'Museum, vol. iii. for 
1741. It is probable that the London Gazette may 
be considered as the origin of most of the cheap 
and popular news journals of the last century, since 
the name of that paper w^as derived from one first 
published at Venice, the price of which was a coin 
called a gazet, which, says Coryat in his ' Crudi- 
ties ' (London, 1776, 8vo., vol. ii., p. 15), 4 is almost 
a penny, whereof ten do make a liver, that is nine- 

The first of this paper printed in England super- 
seded the Intelligence and News, conducted by 
Eoger L'Estrange, Esq., and appeared in 1665, 
No. 1 containing the public events from November 
7 to 14, under the title of the Oxford Gazette, it 
being published in that city every Tuesday, since 
the Court was assembled there on account of the 
plague being in London. It was, however, also 
reprinted in the Metropolis, and upon the removal 
of the Court the name was altered to that of the 
London Gazette, the first of which, No. 24, Febru- 
ary 1 to 5, 1665-66, was published on a Monday. 
Those papers, however, the names of which were 
expressive of their price, do not seem to have been 
published until half a century afterwards ; but on 
July 19, 1715, appeared No. 1 of The Penny Post; 
on March 13 following, No. 1 of The Penny Post ; 
or, Tradesman s Select Pacquet ; on October 19 , 
1720, No. 1 of The Penny Weekly Journal; or, 
Saturday Evening's Entertainment ; and in 1724-25 


a vet cheaper publication was printed, called The 
Halfpenny London Journal; or, Tlie British 
Oracle ; whilst three other halfpenny posts Avere 
published three times every week (Nichols's 
' Literary Anecdotes of the Eighteenth Century,' 
London, 1812, 8vo., vol. i., p. 312 ; vol. iv., pp. 58, 
86, 89, 90, 92, 94). 

The farthing posts, however, appear chiefly to 
have been in circulation durino; the vears 1740-1743 : 
and in the Gentleman's Magazine for November, 
1740, vol. x., pp. 557, 558, the 'Craftsman' of 
November 22 complains that the revenue was 
greatly defrauded by the printers and publishers 
of halfpenny and farthing posts, which Avere 
publicly Amended about the streets, without stamps, 
in equal defiance both of the law and the penalty. 
It is added, that though they had been frequently 
informed against, yet that the persons concerned 
in them Avere supposed to be such ' poor, low 
AA-retches,' living in obscure parts of the town, or 
in the rules of the Fleet, and other prisons, that 
their discoA^ery Avould be very difficult ; whilst a 
suspicion is also hinted that they were supported 
by persons in power against the opposition papers 
and publishers. In plate iv. of the ' Rake's Pro- 
gress ' Hogarth has introduced a boy intently 
occupied in reading a paper, on which is inscribed, 
' The Farthing Post.' The stamping of neAvs- 
papers on single sheets or half-sheets first took 
place on August 2, 1712. 

But to return now from Mr. Nollekens' reminis- 
cences to his own memoirs. The parsimonious 


disposition of his partner seemed to take no delight 
in alleviating the sorrows of the widow or assisting 
the endeavours of the fatherless ; at least, I never 
heard of her trespassing on her purse that way : 
on the contrary, she would, like Penny's picture of 
a quack-doctor, 1 look about for the bit of bacon to 
take from the distressed family, as will appear by 
the following trait of character. At the corner of 
her house there was a small part of the street 
railed in, on which she gave a poor woman leave 
to place a table with a few apples for sale upon a 
bit of an old napkin. 

To this miserablv-hooded widow she was seen to 
go, when she intended to treat the family with a 
dumpling, with the question of, c Pray, Goody, how 
many apples can you let me have for a penny ?' 
' Bless your kindness ! you shall have three.' 
J Three !' exclaimed the lady, smiling ; ' no, you 
must let me have four ;' and touching her left 
thumb with the forefinger of her right hand, she 
continued, c f or there's my husband, myself, and 
two servants, and we must have one apiece !' 
s Well,' observed the miserable dependent, c you 
must take them !' Whilst eighteen-pence was the 
price of half a calf's head, it was a dish of which 
she was c passionately fond ' ; but when it exceeded 
that amount, something else was thought of ' by 
way of a change ' : indeed, she would observe that 

1 From this picture by Penny, who was Professor of Painting in 
the Royal Academy, there is an engraving entitled ' The Rapacious 
Quack.' Smith. Edward Penny (1714-1791) was a foundation 
member of the Royal Academy, and the earliest Professor of Painting 
there. Ed. 


' those people who live aloof from the blandish- 
ments of a Court have little occasion for a super- 
fluity at their tables.' 

When she went to Oxford Market to beat the 
rounds, in order to discover the cheapest chops, 
she would walk round several times to give her 
dog Cerberus an opportunity of picking up scraps. 
However, of this mode of manoeuvring she was at 
last ashamed, bv the rude remarks of the vulgar 
butchers, who had been complained of to her Nolly, 
for having frequently cried out: 'Here comes Mrs. 
Nollekens and her bull-bitch !' 

She took a particular pleasure in assisting her 
friends at card-parties with ' economical recipes,' of 
which she accumulated a tolerable stock ; and the 
following was one she much recommended to the 
mammas of very delicate young ladies, for whom 
the physician had prescribed ass's milk : 'To make 
Mock Ass's Milk. Three parts barley-water and 
one part milk, to be boiled together, and sweetened 
with fine sugar ; half an ounce of barley to a pint, 
the first water to be thrown away.' There was one 
recipe which Mr. Nollekens always wrote himself 
on little ragged strips of paper, which he cut ofi 
the margins of his prints, and of which he kept 
several in his pocket-book, to give to any persons 
he met afflicted with the jaundice, and now and 
then a pert jackanapes, by way of a quiz, would 
apply for one : ' For jaundice, take every morning 
a new-laid egg ; let it be broke into a cup, and 
swallow it, the white and the yolk.' 

During the time I was with him, he now and 


then gave a dinner, particularly when his steadfast 
friend Lord Yarborough, then the Hon. Mr. Pelham, 
sent his annual present of venison ; and it is most 
surprising to consider how many persons of good 
sense and high talent visited Mrs. Nollekens, 
though it probably was principally owing to the 
^ood character her father and sister held in society. 
Dr. Johnson and Miss Williams were often there, 
and they generally arrived in a hackney-coach, on 
account of Miss Williams' blindness. When the 
Doctor sat to Mr. Nollekens for his bust, he was 
very much displeased at the manner in which the 
head had been loaded with hair, which the sculptor 
insisted upon, as it made him look more like an 
ancient poet. The sittings were not very favour- 
able, which rather vexed the artist, who, upon 
opening the street-door, a vulgarity he was addicted 
to, peevishly whined : ' Now, Doctor, you did say 
you would give my busto half an hour before 
dinner, and the dinner has been waiting this long 
time.' To which the Doctor's reply was : ' Bow- 
wow-wow !' 

The bust is a wonderfully fine one and very like, 
but certainly the sort of hair is objectionable ; 
having been modelled from the flowing locks of 
a sturdy Irish beggar, originally a street pavior, 
who, after he had sat an hour, refused to take a 
shilling, stating that he could have made more by 
begging ! 

Dr. Johnson also considered this bust like him, 
but, whilst he acknowledged the sculptor's ability 
in his art, he could not avoid observing to his 


friend Bos well, when they were looking at it in 
Nollekens' studio : \ It is amazing what ignorance 
of certain points one sometimes finds in men of 
eminence i' 1 though, from want of knowing the 
sculptor, a visitor, when viewing his studio, was 
heard to say : ' What a mind the man must have 
from whom all these emanated!' Banks, in his tale 
of i Every Man in his Way,' commences with : 

' One art, philosophers maintain, 
Is full sufficient for one brain ; 
And He who made us men, design'd 
For such a science such a mind.' 

Defective as he was in many particulars, Not 
lekens' fame for bust - making will never be 
diminished ; and I would have this truth ' written 
as with a sunbeam.' Possessed of such distin- 
guished talent, he now became extremely popular, 
though he never sought employment ; and perhaps 
no man had less intrigue : 

1 As spiders never seek the fly, 
But leave him of himself, t' apply.' 

Most of his sitters were exceedingly amused with 
the oddity of his manner, particularly fine women, 
who were often gratified by being considered hand- 
some by the sculptor, though his admiration was 
expressed in the plainest language. 

I remember his once requesting a lady who 
squinted dreadfully to ' look a little the other way, 
for then,' said he, ' I shall get rid of the shyness 
in the cast of your eye ;' and to another lady of 

1 Dr. Johnson, upon hearing the name of an eminent sculptor 
mentioned, observed, ' Well, sir, I think my friend Joe Nollekens can 
chop out a head with any of them.' Smith. 


the highest rank, who had forgotten her position, 
and was looking down upon him, he cried : ; Don't 
look so scorny ; you'll spoil my busto ; and you're 
a very fine woman ; I think it will be one of my 
best bnstos.' I heard him ask the daughter of 
Lord Yarborough, in the presence of her husband, 
to prove to her that he had not forgotten all his 
Italian, if she did not recollect his dancing her 
upon his knee when she was a bambina. He was 
very fond of speaking Italian, though I have been 
told it was exceedingly bad ; and he would often 
attempt it even in the presence of the Royal Family, 
who good-temperedly smiled at his whimsicalities. 

Even the gravest of men, the Lord Chancellor 
Bathurst, 1 when sitting to him for his bust for the 
Chancery Court, in his large wig, condescendingly 
endured the following collection of nonsense, in 
which at last his lordship was obliged to join. 
Nollekens : 4 Ah, there goes the bell tolling ! No, 
it's only my clock on the stairs. When I was a 
boy, you would have liked to have seen me toll 
the bell ; it's no very easy thing, I can tell you 
look a little that way ! you must toll, that is to 
say, I did, one hour for a man, three times three ; 
and three times two for a woman. Now, your 
lordship must mind, there's a moving-bell and a 
passing-bell ; these the Romans always attended 
to.' c You mean the Roman Catholics, Mr. Nolle- 
kens,' observed his lordship. ' Yes, my lord, they 
call that the moving-bell, which goes when they 

1 Henry Bathurst, the second Earl (1714-1794), author of ' The 
Theory of Evidence.' Ed. 


move a body out of one parish to the next, or so 
on. The passing-bell is when you are dying, and 
going from this world to another place.' ' Ay, Mr. 
Nollekens,' observed his lordship, \ there is a 
curious little book, published in 1671, I think by 
Richard Duckworth, upon the art of ringing, 
entitled " Tintannologia." 

But simple and half-witted as this artist certainly 
was, yet he always knew how to take care of what 
is called the main chance, as will be proved by the 
following anecdote : 

A lady in weeds for her dear husband, drooping 
low like the willow, visited the sculptor, and assured 
him that she did not care what money was ex- 
pended on a monument to the memory of her 
beloved : ' Do what you please, but do it directly,' 
were her orders. Industry was a principle riveted 
in Nollekens' constitution ; he rose with the lark, 
and in a short time finished the model, strongly 
suspecting she might, like some others he had been 
employed by, change her mind. 

The lady, in about three months, made her 
second appearance, in which more courage is 
generally assumed, and was accosted by him, before 
she alighted, with ' Poor soul ! I thought you'd 
come ;' but her tripping down with a 'light fantastic 
toe,' and the snorting of her horses, which had 
been hard driven, evinced a total change in her 
inclination, and he was now saluted with : ' How 
do you do, Nollekens. Well, you have not com- 
menced the model ?' ' Yes, but I have, though,' 
was the reply. The Lady : c Have you, indeed ? 


These, my good friend, I own,' throwing herself 
into a chair, ' are early days ; but since I saw you, 
an old Roman acquaintance of yours has made me 
an offer, and I don't know how he would like to 
see in our church a monument of such expense to 
my late husband ; indeed, perhaps, after all, upon 
second thoughts, it would be considered quite 
enough if I got our mason to put up a mural 
inscription, and that, you know, he can cut very 
neatly.' ' My charge,' interrupted the artist, c for 
my model will be one hundred guineas,' which 
she declared to be ' enormous.' However, she 
would pay it and c have done with him.' 

His singular and parsimonious habits were most 
observable in his domestic life. Coals were articles 
of great consideration with Mr. Nollekens, and 
these he so rigidly economized that they were 
always sent early, before his men came to work, in 
order that he might have leisure time for counting 
the sacks, and disposing of the large coals in what 
was originally designed by the builder of his house 
for a wine-cellar, so that he might lock them up for 
parlour use. Candles were never lighted at the 
commencement of the evening, and whenever they 
heard a knock at the door, they would wait until 
they heard a second rap, lest the first should have 
been a runaway, and their candle wasted. Mr. and 
Mrs. Nollekens used a flat candlestick when there 
was anything to be done ; and I have been assured 
that a pair of moulds, by being well nursed, and 
put out when company went away, once lasted 
them a whole year ! 


It happened one morning that poor old Daphne, 
the large yard dog, a constant market-companion 
of Mrs. Nollekens, barked incessantly, until Mr. 
Nollekens, who was then taking in the milk, which 
was his constant practice, could go to the gate, 
where he was addressed by a raw-boned man full 
six feet in height, who said he was a cutter of 
funeral inscriptions, come from the city of Norwich, 
and would be glad of a job. At this time the 
Literary Club, founded by Sir Joshua Reynolds, 
which met at the St. Luke's Head, in Gerrard 
Street, had signed a round-robin, addressed to 
Dr. Johnson, requesting him to alter into English 
the inscription for Dr. Goldsmith's monument, at 
that time executing by Mr. Nollekens, who promised 
the man at the gate the cutting of it as soon as it 
was sent back ; and this I saw him execute under a 
shed in the yard near the dog, who constantly eyed 
his movements. Trifling as the incident may at 
first appear, this person became a valuable assistant 
to his new master, under whom he made what is 
called a very pretty fortune. His name was 
William Arminger, and he carved many of Mr. 
Nollekens' best busts ; but farther particulars of 
him will be given in a future page. 

The monument to Dr. Goldsmith was put up 
in Poets' Corner, Westminster Abbev, over the 
entrance to the Chapel of St. Blaize, which has 
long been used as a vestry to the edifice. 



Friends of Mrs. Nollekens G. M. Moser and his daughter Mary 
Her letters, and one from Fuseli in reply Angelica Kauffmann and 
her marriage Mrs. Carter Old houses on Hampstead Heath 
G\ Steevens and his portraits Nollekens' bust of George III. 
Parsimonious management of Nollekens when a bachelor Personal 
appearance of him and his wife Economy of Mrs. Nollekens The 
sculptor's figure and dress White's Coffee-house, and the gamesters' 
address to the King. 

Mrs. Nollekens was honoured with the friendship 
of three highly celebrated ladies Miss Moser, 1 
K.A., the famous painter of flowers, afterwards 
Mrs. Lloyd ; Mrs. Angelica Kauffmann, R.A., 
whose works are too well known to need any 
encomiums from me, both of whom were chosen 
members of the Royal Academy upon its' establish- 
ment ; and Mrs. Elizabeth Carter, 2 the well-known 
translator of Epictetus. Of the two former 
characters I shall now give a few anecdotes, which, 
from their being uncommon, at this distance of 
time may prove rather interesting. 

Miss Mary Moser was the daughter of George 
Michael Moser, a truly worthy and clever man. 

1 Mary Moser lived until 1819. Her friend and rival, Angelica 
Kauffmann, died in 1807. Ed. 

2 This lady, born in 1717, died in 1806. Her famous translation of 
Epictetus was published in 1758. Ed. 


He was originally a chaser ; but when that mode 
of adorning plate, cane-heads, and watch-cases 
became unfashionable, he, by the advice of his 
friend, Mr. Thomas Grignon, the celebrated watch- 
maker, applied himself to enamelling watch-trinkets, 
necklaces, bracelets, etc., from which occupation 
he became an excellent enameller of larger and 
more eminent works. He drew remarkably well, 
and was successively at the head of several drawing 
schools, until at last he was elected Keeper of the 
Royal Academy on its foundation, which situation 
he filled some considerable time with honour to 
himself and his brother Academicians. Moser died 
at his apartments in Somerset House on Friday, 
January 24, 1783, aged seventy-eight, and was 
buried in the churchyard of St. Paul, Covent 

Mr. Moser orminallv lived in Craven Buildings. 
Drury Lane a street at the south end of the lane, 
which was built upon part of the premises of 
Craven House in the year 1723, as appears by an 
inscribed stone let into the north-west corner house 
of the street, at the bottom of which, against the 
wall, was a large equestrian portrait of William 
Lord Craven, painted by Paul Van Somer the 
younger, for there were two painters of that name. 
This picture, which is now destroyed, I have en- 
graven in my c Antiquities of London.' 

Miss Moser, though somewhat of a precise woman, 
was at times a most cheerful companion. My father 
knew her well, and was often delighted by hearing 
her relate the passing events of the day, specimens 


of which I now present to the reader, in two letters 
addressed to her friend Mrs. Lloyd, the wife of the 
gentleman whom she afterwards married, with the 
loan of which entertaining epistles I was favoured 
by Mrs. Nichols, who was for many years the 
faithful companion of the writer : 

' May 8. 

' My dear Friend, 

* Come to London and admire our plumes. We sweep the sky. 
A duchess wears six feathers, a lady four, and every milkmaid one at 
each corner of her cap. Your mamma desired me to inquire the name 
of something she had seen in the windows in Tavistock Street. It 
seems she was afraid to ask ; but / took courage, and they told me 
they were rattlesnake tippets. However, notwithstanding their 
frightful name, they are not very much unlike a beaufong, only the 
quills are made stiff and springy in the starching. Fashion is grown 
a monster. Pray tell your operator that your hair must measure 
just three-quarters of a yard from the extremity of one wing to the 
other. I should not have said so much about fashions, but I suppose 
it makes part of the conversation of country ladies. I hope my advice 
will not be stale. French trimming is quite the bon-ton. 

'N.B. The Queen and her ladies never wear feathers. They say 
here that the minority ladies are distinguished from the courtiers by 
their plumes. Mrs. Sheriff brought a terrible story of a trance, which 
I suppose your mamma has told you already ; but I have since in- 
quired into the merits of the case, and have been assured by some of 
the lady's relations, who are likewise cousins of mine by marriage, that 
the story is fabulous, and they fancy it was fabricated to amuse a 
good old aunt who delights in the marvellous. Is there no ghostly 
story propagated at Carnarvon that would petrify one's friends ? For 
Heaven's sake invent me some ! Let them be very wonderful indeed, 
that I may make a figure among the old ladies. I have found very 
good effects from telling a terrific story when I have held a doubtful, 
low hand ; pray keep this secret. I do not know one gossiping 
anecdote, or it should be at your service. My father and mother join 
in compliments to you and Captain Lloyd, and 
' I remain, to all perpetuity, 

i Your sincere friend and humble servant, 

'Mary Moser.' 


1 Somerset House, Jan. 9. 
'My dear Friend, 

1 Your " Palace of Silence" has engrossed all my thoughts for 
these last six weeks ; I dream of it, and cry " Silence !" in my sleep. 
If your printer should not have mercy on me, and bring it out shortly, 
I shall certainly die with impatience. 

4 The renewal of the year gives me an opportunity of wishing you 
in words what I always wish you in thought many, many happy 
years. " May you live as long as you deserve to live !" says Lord 
Chesterfield to his son. Give me leave to conclude my wish in the 
same manner ; because, if my wish succeed, you will live for ever. 
Pray, if you have read Lord Chesterfield's letters, give me your 
opinion of them, and what you think of his lordship. For my part, I 
admire wit and adore good manners, but at the same time I should 
detest Lord Chesterfield, were he alive, young, and handsome, and my 
lover, if I supposed, as I do now, his wit was the result of thought, 
and that he had been practising the graces in the looking-glass. I 
cannot help smiling at the fine compliments he desires his son to make 
to the Duke of Newcastle, and the delicate turn of his epistle to 
Voltaire. Witty sayings made yesterday, and compliments manu- 
factured at leisure, I hate ; so I will not allow my Lord Chesterfield 
to have been a wit, unless you speak in his defence, which I think you 
will not do, because he has said the best of us are little better than 
things in leading-strings and forehead cloths. However, as I have 
heard that it is generous to acknowledge the merit of those we do not 
love, I will declare, if all the good things in Lord Chesterfield's work 
were compiled in one volume, independent of his adoration of the 
Graces, it would be a most excellent little book. 

'I shall have the pleasure of seeing your mamma this afternoon at 
Mrs. Toussaint's ; so adieu, my dear friend, and believe me, 
1 Sincerely, with all love, 

' Your humble, humble servant, 

'Mary Moser. 

' To Mrs. Lloyd. 5 

Mrs. Nichols lias also indulged me with the 
loan of two other letters, one of which is warmly 
addressed by Miss Moser to Fuseli when at Rome ; x 

1 Fuseli left England in December, 1769, and arrived at Kome in 
January, 1770. In September, 1778, he left Rome for Switzerland, 
where he continued till the middle of 1779, when he returned to 
England. Smith. 


the other is Fuseli's answer, and is certainly coldly 
written. However, with these epistles the reader 
will be highly pleased, as they contain some truly 
interesting particulars respecting the arts. I should 
have premised that Miss Moser was glancing at 
Fuseli, but his heart unfortunately had already been 
deeply pierced by Angelica Kauffmann : 

'If you have not forgotten at Rome those friends whom yon 
remembered at Florence, write to me from that nursery of arts and 
raree-show of the world, which nourishes in ruins ; tell me of pictures, 
palaces, people, lakes, woods, and rivers ; say if Old Tiber droops with 
age, or whether his waters flow as clear, his rushes grow as green, and 
his swans look as white as those of Father Thames ; or write me your 
own thoughts and reflections, which will be more acceptable than 
any description of anything Greece and Eome have done these two 
thousand years. 

1 1 suppose there has been a million of letters sent to Italy with an 
account of our Exhibition, so it will be only telling you what you 
know already to say that Reynolds was like himself in pictures which 
you have seen ; Gainsborough beyond himself in a portrait of a 
gentleman in a Vandyke habit ; and Zoffany superior to everybody in 
a portrait of Garrick in the character of Abel Drugger, with two 
other figures, Subtle and Face. Sir Joshua agreed to give an hundred 
guineas for the picture. Lord Carlisle half an hour after offered 
Reynolds twenty to part with it, which the knight generously refused, 
resigned his intended purchase to the lord, and the emolument to his 
brother artist. (He is a gentleman !) Angelica made a very great 
addition to the show, and Mr. Hamilton's picture of Briseis parting 
from Achilles was very much admired ; the Briseis in taste, a la 
antique, elegant and simple. Coates, Dance, Wilson, etc., as usual. 
Mr. West had no large picture finished. You will doubtless imagine 
that I derived my epistolary genius from my nurse ; but when you 
are tired of my gossiping you may burn the letter, so I shall go on. 
Some of the literati of the Royal Academy were very much dis- 
appointed, as they could not obtain diplomas ; but the Secretary, who 
is above trifles, has since made a very flattering compliment to the 
Academy in the preface to the " Travels." The Professor of History 
is comforted by the success of his " Deserted Village," which is a very 
pretty poem, and has lately put himself under the conduct of Mrs. 
Hornick and her fair daughters, and is gone to France ; and Dr. 


Johnson sips his tea, and cares not for the vanity of the world. Sir 
Joshua a few days ago entertained the Council and visitors with 
callipash and callipee, except poor Coates, 1 who last week fell a sacrifice 
to the corroding power of soap-lees, which he hoped would have cured 
him of the stone. Many a tear will drop on his grave, as he is not 
more lamented as an artist than a friend to the distressed. {Ma poca 
polvere sono che nulla sente /) My mamma declares that you are an 
insufferable creature, and that she speaks as good English as your 
mother did High German. Mr. Meyer laughed aloud at your letter, 
and desired to be remembered. My father and his daughter long to 
know the progress you will make, particularly 

'Mary Moser, 

who remains sincerely your friend, and believes you will exclaim or 
mutter to yourself, " Why did she send this d d nonsense to mef" 

1 Rome, April 27, 1771. 
1 Madam, 

'I am inexcusable. I know your letter by heart, and have 
never answered it ; but I am often so very unhappy within that I hold 
it matter of remorse to distress such a friend as Miss Moser with my 
own whimsical miseries. They may be fancied evils, but to him who 
has fancy, real evils are unnecessary, though I have them too. All I 
can say is that I am approaching the period which commonly decides 
a man's life with regard to fame or infamy. If I am distracted by the 
thought, those who have passed the Rubicon will excuse me, and you 
are amongst the number. 

' Mr. Runciman, 2 who does me the favour to carry these lines, my 
friend, and in my opinion the best painter of us in Rome, has desired 
me to introduce him to your family ; but he wants no other intro- 
duction than his merit. I beg my warmest compliments to papa and 
mamma, and am unaltered, 

* Madam, 
' Your most obliged servant and friend, 

1 Fuseli. 
1 To Miss Moser, 
* Craven Buildings, Drury Lane.' 

1 Francis Cotes (1726-1770). He was the first member of the 
Royal Academy to die. Ed. 

2 Alexander Runciman, the Scotch historical painter. He was in 
Rome from 1766 to 1771. He died in 1785, in his fiftieth year. 


The late Queen Charlotte, whose real worth as 
to private benevolence was not known until after 
her death, took particular notice of Miss Moser, 
and for a considerable time employed her at Frog- 
more for the decoration of one chamber, which her 
Majesty commanded to be called Miss Moser' s 
Room, and for which the Queen paid upwards of 

It having: been asserted that Angelica Kauffmann 
studied from an exposed male living model, which 
Mr. Nollekens said he believed, I was determined 
to gain the best information on the subject by going 
to Mr. Charles Cranmer, one of the original models 
of the Royal Academy, now living, in his eighty- 
second year, at No. 13, in Regent Street, Vauxhall 
Bridge, and he assured me that he did frequently 
sit before Angelica Kauffmann at her house on the 
south side of Golden Square, but that he only 
exposed his arms, shoulders, and legs, and that 
her father, who was also an artist and likewise 
an exhibitor at the Royal Academy, was always 
present. I have under my care, as Keeper of the 
Prints and Drawings in the British Museum, a most 
spirited study of hers, dated 1771, of a male 
Academy model, recumbent and half draped ; it is 
in black and white chalk, upon brown paper, and is 
in the splendid collection left to the Museum by the 
late Richard Payne Knight, Esq., a trustee of that 
magnificent establishment, which will in a few years 
be the admiration of our own country and the envy 
of all the world. 


Angelica, before she married Mr. Zucchi, 1 the 
artist, was most artfully deceived by a discarded 
servant of Count Horn, who had imposed himself 
upon her smiles with the title of his late master ; 
and being a very fine, handsome fellow, she was 
determined to show her friends, with whom she 
had flirted, that she had at last made a good hit, 
and therefore, without the least hesitation, imme- 
diately gave her hand to the impostor. The next 
time Angelica attended at Buckingham House upon 
the Queen, who was pleased by seeing her paint, 
she communicated her marriage to her Majesty, 
upon which she received the most condescending 
congratulations, with an invitation to her husband 
to come to Court ; who, however, was cunningly 
determined to keep himself within the house, from 
the sight of everyone, until his baggage had arrived, 
which he expected every day. At last Count Horn 
himself came to England, and, when at the levee, 
was much surprised by being complimented upon 
his marriage. Angelica, who soon received the 
mortifying information from the Queen, was for a 
time inconsolable ; but at last her friends prevailed 
upon the fortune-hunter to leave England upon a 
pension, and Angelica, who resumed the name of 
Kauffmann, which she retained till her death, was 
fortunately never troubled with him afterwards. 

Mrs. Carter, of whom Mrs. Nollekens was in 
possession of a portrait, most exquisitely engraven 

1 Antonio Zucchi, the Venetian decorator (1726-1795), came to- 
England early in life, was elected an A.R.A. in 1770, and married 
Angelica in 1781. Ed. 


by Hayward, from a picture by Lawrence, would 
often complain of her c indefatigable headache.' 1 
She was a truly sincere woman, and will be intro- 
duced in a future page. 

Mr. and Mrs. Noliekens took me one Sunday 
morning with them in a glass coach to pass a day 
with their friend Mrs. Haycock, a very aged lady 
who resided near Hampstead Heath. She was quite 
of the old school in her dress, and so indeed was 
everything in and about her house. Her evergreens 
were cut into the shapes of various birds ; and 
Cheere's 2 leaden painted figures of a shepherd and 
shepherdess were objects of as much admiration 
with her neighbours as they were with my Lord 
Ogleby, who thus accosts his friend in the second 
scene of the ' Clandestine Marriage ' : 

' Great improvements, indeed, Mr. Stirling ! wonderful improve- 
ments ! The four seasons in lead, the flying Mercury, and the basin 
with Neptune in the middle are in the very extreme of fine taste. 
You have as many rich figures as the man at Hyde Park Corner.' 

The line row of elms, which is now open upon 
the left hand of the green opposite to a garden 
wall, was, at the time we made the visit, within 
Mrs. Haycock's grounds, which were surrounded 
by a primly-cut holly-edge. After we had dined 
with this lady, who had lived several years beyond 
eighty, at which period she had received the small - 

1 Miss Elizabeth Carters ' indefatigable headache ' was the result of 
excessive attention to Greek and Latin studies in her early youth. 
She was a very fine linguist. Ed. 

2 Sir Henry Cheere, the statuary (? 1700-1781), was celebrated for 
his leaden figures for garden decoration. His shop was in Picca- 
dilly. Ed. 


pox, Mrs. Nollekens expressed a wish to view the 
grounds of her opposite neighbour, George Steevens, 1 
Esq., better known under the appellation of c Shake- 
speare Steevens ' ; and she was more particularly 
anxious to see this spot, as she had often heard her 
father speak of its notoriety. It having been, too, 
a fashionable place of resort for the Londoners, 
when it was the Upper Flask Tavern, and Richard- 
son having noticed it as the place where his Clarissa 
had fled to from Lovelace, the public at that time 
was generally talking about it. 

Mr. Steevens ordered his gardener to show the 
grounds, which were beautiful beyond description. 

I received no small pleasure last summer, when 
Shepherd, Esq., the present possessor, politely gave 
me permission to revisit them, to find this highly 
enviable spot nearly in the same state in which it 
was in my youthful days. 

Steevens early in life was rather conceited of his 
person, and had a miniature of himself beautifully 
painted by the celebrated Meyer, 2 the enameller 
and Royal Academician. He also stood, being fond 
of private theatricals, in which he often took a 
part, for a whole-length portrait in oil in the 
character of Barbarossa. Zoffany likewise painted 
a picture of him in oil, with a favourite little dog, 
which has been engraven for Boydell for his edition 
of Shakespeare. Fond as he was of having his 

1 The Shakespearian annotator (1736-1800). Ed. 

2 Jeremiah Meyer, a native of Wirtemberg, came to England in 
1749, and was a foundation member of the Royal Academy. He died 
in 1789. Ed. 


portrait taken in early life, in his latter days lie not 
only refused to sit, but actually took the greatest 
pains to destroy every resemblance of his features, 
and never suffered himself to remain in the company 
of an artist for any length of time, lest he should 
steal his likeness. Notwithstanding these precau- 
tions, however, he was seriously annoyed by re- 
ceiving an impression of an etching of his face, 
though not a very good likeness, taken by stealth 
by Sayer, 1 the caricaturist, at which liberty Steevens 
was so highly exasperated that he threatened ' to 
cane the fellow ' a mode of chastisement which, 
with a raised arm and a clenched fist, he often de- 
clared he would inflict upon most of those persons 
who offended him. Steevens, who certainly had 
remarkably handsome legs, which he generally 
covered with white cotton stockings, would fre- 
quently pique himself upon having walked from 
his house at Hampstead, half over London and 
back, without receiving a speck of dirt upon 

Mrs. Swan, an aged woman, who lets ready- 
furnished lodgings in Hampstead, and who married 
Steevens' gardener, assured me that no creature on 
earth could be more afraid of death than Steevens ; 
that on the day of his decease he came into the 
kitchen, where she and her husband were sitting at 
dinner, snatched at their pudding, which he ate 
most voraciously, at the same time defying the 

1 James Sayer, a Yarmouth man, who produced a long series of 
coarse but effective political caricatures. Born in 1748, he died in 
1823. Ed. 


grinning monster in the most terrific language. 
However, lie died, and Flaxman lias placed his 
effigy on his monument in white marble, placidly 
seated contemplating a bust o Shakespeare, which 
is erected in the north chancel of the East India 
Company's Chapel in Poplar. 

I once heard Mr. Nollekens relate an anecdote in 
the presence of Mr. Richard Dalton, 1 then librarian 
to King George III., which will show how well his 
Majesty must have been acquainted with even the 
religious persuasions as well as the faces and family 
connections of his subjects. 

' When I was modelling the King's busto,' ob- 
served Mr. Nollekens, ' I was commanded to go to 
receive the King at Buckingham House at seven 
o'clock in the morning, for that was the time his 
Majesty shaved. After he had shaved himself, and 
before he had put on his stock, I modelled my 
busto. I sot him down, to be even with myself, 
and the King seeing me go about him and about 
him, said to me, " What do you want ?" I said, 
" I want to measure vour nose. The Queen tells 
me I have made my nose too broad." " Measure 
it, then," said the King." ' c Ay, my good friend,' 
observed Dalton, who had been intimate with Nolle- 
kens during their stay at Rome, ' I have heard it 
often mentioned in the library ; and it has also 
been affirmed that you pricked the King's nose with 
your said calipers. I will tell you what the King 
said of you when you did not attend according to 

1 A brother of John Dalton, the poetical divine. He died in 


command one morning : " Noilekens is not come ; I 
forgot, it is a saint's clay, and he is a Catholic." 

Although it is true tiiat Noilekens followed the 
old family persuasion of his father, and possibly 
he might at that time, as it was just after his arrival 
from Rome, have paid more attention to saints' 
days, yet I am quite certain that during his latter 
years he cared very little for the Catholic religion, 
nor, indeed, for any other. As for Mrs. Noilekens, 
though she pretended to be a stanch friend to the 
National Protestant Church, yet she never con- 
tributed much to its ^support ; for she certainly 
never was known to indulge in the expense of a 
pew, or even in a single seat. She generally con- 
trived, by standing near the pew of some one of 
her tenants, to catch an eye of observation, when 
she was sure of being accommodated with a seat, 
not only in the church, but very often in a carriage 
home ; and this latter attention often afforded her 
an opportunity of accepting an invitation to a card- 
party, or a seat in a box at the opera, of which 
entertainment she always declared herself to be 
excessively fond. 

The following anecdote is current, but on what 
authority it rests I know not ; alloAving the story 
to be true, it could come only from an attendant on 
the King certainly not from his Majesty, nor from 
Noilekens ; however, I could name half a dozen 
persons who continue to relate it. 

The story runs thus : When Mr. Noilekens 
attended the King the following day to receive his 
Majesty's commands as to the time for the next 


sitting, as he approached the royal presence, instead 
of making an apology on the saint's account, he 
merelv wished to know when he mi^ht be allowed 
to go on with his busto. The King, however, 
with his usual indulgence to persons as ignorant 
as Nollekens was of the common marks of respect, 
observed, ' So, Nollekens, where were you vester- 
day ?' 

Nollekens: 'Why, as it was a saint's day, I 
thought you would not have me ; so I went to see 
the beasts fed in the Tower.' 

The King : ' Why did you not go to Duke 
Street ?' 

Nollekens ; ' Well, I went to the Tower ; and do 
you know, they have got two such lions there ! 
and the biggest did roar so ; my heart ! how he did 
roar !' And then he mimicked the roaring of the 
lion, so loud and so close to the King's ear that his 
Majesty moved to a considerable distance to escape 
the imitation, without saying, like Bottom in the 
comedy : 

Let him roar again, let him roar again.' 

A modeller keeps his clay moist by spirting water 
over it ; and this he does by standing at a little 
distance with his mouth filled with water, which he 
spirts upon it, so that the water is sent into all the 
recesses of his model before he covers it up ; this, 
it is said, Nollekens did in the King's presence, 
without declaring what he was about to do. How- 
ever, it was not the case with Mr. Bacon, 1 the 

1 John Bacon, R.A. (1740-1790). See prefatory essay. En. 


sculptor, who had provided a long silver syringe 
for that purpose before he attended the King, with 
which he could easily throw the water into the 
recesses of the model, without making so disagree- 
able a noise in his Majesty's presence. With the 
drapery of this bust of the King Nollekens had 
more anxiety and trouble than with any of his 
other productions ; he assured Mr. Joseph, 1 the 
Associate of the Royal Academy, that after throw- 
ing the cloth once or twice every day for nearly a 
fortnight, it came excellently well, by mere chance, 
from the following circumstance. Just as he was 
about to make another trial with his drapery, his 
servant came to him for money for butter ; he 
threw the cloth carelessly over the shoulders of his 
lay-man in order to give her the money, when he 
was forciblv struck with the beautiful manner in 
which the folds had fallen ; and he hastily ex- 
claimed, pushing her away, ' Go, go, get the 
butter.' And he has frequently been heard to say 
that that drapery was by far the best he ever cast 
for a bust. 

The reader is to be informed that w T hen Mr. 
Nollekens was engaged upon this bust of our late 
gracious King, Miss Mary Welch was not in posses- 
sion of the power of managing his domestic con- 
cerns. He was then a single man, and his servant, 
for at that time he kept but one, always applied to 
him for money to purchase every description of 

1 George Francis Joseph, the painter, born in 1764. In 1813 he 
was elected A.R.A., but was never promoted. He died in 1846. The 
sculptor Samuel Joseph was his cousin. Ed. 


article fresJi, as it was wanted for the approaching 
meal ; and by that mode of living, he concluded, as 
he kept his servant upon board-wages, he was not 
so much exposed to her pilfering inclinations, par- 
ticularly as she was entrusted with no more money 
than would enable her to purchase just enough for 
his own eating. He generally contrived to get 
through the small quantity he allowed himself, 
never thinking of keeping any portion of a roll or 
a pat of butter for anyone who might pop in at his 
breakfasting-hour, or as a reserve for a friend as a 
bever before dinner. 

I have frequently heard Miss Moser assure my 
father that, whenever she carried him a pot of jelly 
or a quince marmalade, she always, upon opening 
his closet, found the last presented pot entirely 
emptied, so fond was he of anything given to him, 
particularly when he had a sore throat, of which he 
frequently complained to those who made black- 
currant jelly. 

Before the commencement of some other anec- 
dotes, which may amuse the reader, I must indulge 
in a comparison betwixt the general appearance of 
Mr. and Mrs. Nollekens, certainly not cheek-by- 
jowl, but by the simile of placing a pair of com- 
passes and a short pair of calipers side by side ; 
the first opened at ten degrees, or perhaps not quite 
so much, the latter at full fifteen ; and then, I 
think, Mrs. Nollekens will stand pardoned for con- 
tinuing to call her husband ; Little Nolly,' which 
name, by-the-by, he originally received from her 
early admirer and sincere friend, Dr. Johnson, who 


never failed to visit her, for the last three years of 
his life, at least three times a month, so that I had 
frequent opportunities of peeping at him. In the 
way in which the compasses and calipers will 
appear, when opened at the above degrees, so Mr. 
and Mrs. Nollekens' figures may be conceived 
the lady with legs tall, thin, and straight, the 
gentleman with limbs short and bowed; thus pro- 
portioned, they would slowly move, on a Sunday 
morning, till they arrived at a certain corner in 
Mortimer Street, where they then parted, the one 
turning to the right, the other to the left ; he to the 
Roman Catholic Chapel, and she to the Protestant 

Sometimes in the evening, when they had no 
engagements, to take a little fresh air, and to avoid 
interlopers, they would, after putting a little tea and 
sugar, a French roll, or a couple of rusks into their 
pockets, stray to Madam Caria's, a Frenchwoman 
who lived near the end of Marylebone Lane, in 
what were at that time called the French Gardens, 
principally tenanted by the citizens, where persons 
were accommodated with tea equipage and hot 
water at a penny a head. Mrs. Nollekens made 
it a rule to allow one servant as they kept two 
to go out on the alternate Sunday ; for it was Mr. 
Nollekens' opinion that if they were never per- 
mitted to visit the Jew's Harp, Queen's Head and 
Artichoke, or Chalk Farm, they never would wash 
their selves. 

Had the facetious Samuel Foote witnessed the 
following scene, it is probable he would have given 


it a more humorous commemoration ; but I shall 
endeavour to narrate it in the manner Mrs. Bland, 
who kept a turner's shop, used to tell it to her 
customers. Mrs. Nollekens, upon opening Mrs. 
Bland's door, declared she had not seen her for 
some time, though they lived in the same street, 
and were close neighbours, only seven doors apart. 
Mrs. Bland: 'No, madam, I have not sold you a 
broom for these five years !' Mrs. Nollekens : 
4 Five years ! my dear Mrs. Bland, how time passes ! 
though you don't look the worse for wear, my good 
friend.' Mrs. Bland : c I thank you, ma'am, I 
have had my share of troubles, with my poor dear 
husband and my two boys.' Mrs. Nollekens : ' Ah ! 
so we all have. My house opposite has been to let 
a good while now, ever since the General left it ; 
is it not a pity so good a house should remain 
empty ? Indeed it must be a great loss to you, 
Mrs. Bland, for I understand they had all their 
turnery of you.' Mrs. Bland : c Yes ; and what is 
more, they always gave me my price, and paid 
punctually !' Mrs. Nollekens : ' I will now put it 
in your power to gain a customer. Here is a bill, 
Avhich I got Little Smith ' (myself) ' to write in a 
large hand ; allow it to occupy a pane of your shop- 
window, and as there is more sun upon this side of 
the street, the white paper will sooner catch the 
eye.' Mrs. Bland : ' I have no objection.' ; Well, 
then,' rejoined the lady, ' do desire your girl to 
clean the glass, and then put it up while I stay. 
Bless me ! I totally forgot to bring wafers ; can 
you oblige me with one ?' Mrs. Bland : ' I will 


see ; we have used them so little here since my 
poor dear husband died.' Mrs. Nollekens ; ' Pray 
don't mention the loss of him now ; we should 
never repine. Bless me ! what a miserable stock ! 
Stay, we will not mind the colours, we shall manage 
it.' The bill being stuck up, Mrs. Nollekens asked 
her neighbour what was the price of a good mop. 
Mrs. Bland, after taking one down, and striking it 
on the floor to make it appear bushy, and holding it 
as a buffetier would his halbert, replied, ' There, 
ma'am, there's a mop half a crown.' Mrs. Nolle- 
kens : ' What ! half a crown ? My good woman, 
why, I only gave two shillings and threepence for 
the last.' ' Yes, ma'am,' observed the shopkeeper, 
' but that was ten years ago.' Mrs. Nollekens f 
4 Come, come, Mrs. Bland, don't be rude ; / know 
pretty well when it was. But what will you allow 
me, now, for an old stick ?' ' Three halfpence, 
ma'am.' c No, Mrs. What's - your - name ; allow 
me threepence, and I will give you two shillings, 
and you may send in your mop.' As Mrs. Bland 
would not agree to this, Mrs. Nollekens shut the 
door without wishing her a good morning ; at the 
same time muttering, loud enough to be heard, that 
she would go to a man round the corner who had 
just opened a turner's shop. 

Perhaps it now may be better, by way of variety, 
to give a few of Mr. Nollekens' recollections ; but 
before they are related a description of his person 
may not be considered as out of place. 

His figure was short, his head big, and it ap- 
peared much increased by a large-crowned hat, of 


which kind he was very fond ; bnt his dress- hat, 
which he always sported when he went to Court or 
to the Academy dinners, was nearly flat, and he 
brought it from Rome. His neck was short, his 
shoulders narrow, his body too large, particularly 
in the front lower part, which resembled that of 
Tenducci, and many other falsetto singers ; he was 
bow-legged and hook-nosed indeed, his leg was 
somewhat like his nose, which resembled the rudder 
of an Antwerp packet-boat his hips were rather 
thin, but between his brows there was great evi- 
dence of study. He was very fond of his ruffles, 
and continued to wear them long after they had 
become unfashionable indeed, until they were 
worn out. A drab was his favourite colour, and 
his suit was generally made from the same piece, 
though now and then he would treat himself with 
a striped Manchester waistcoat, of one of which he 
was so fond that he sat to Abbott 1 for his portrait in 
it, an engraving from which may be seen in Messrs. 
Cadell's collection of interesting contemporary por- 
traits, where he is represented leaning on his bust 
of Fox, which brought him into more notice than 
any other of his productions. His dress-stockings 
were also rather remarkable, being ornamented with 
blue and white stripes, similar to those constantly 
and so lately worn by Sir Thomas Stepney, an 
old member of White's, in St. James's Street, of 
which house of notorietv the annexed anecdote, 

\J 7 

extracted from the Rev. W. Cole's MSS. in the 

1 Francis Samuel Abbott, the portrait-painter (1760-1803). He was 
a pupil of Hayman. He painted several portraits of Nelson. Ed. 


British Museum, shall conclude this chapter, and 
may probably be found entertaining to the reader : 

' The following humorous address was supposed to have been written 
by Colonel Lyttelton, brother to Sir George Lyttelton, in 1752, on his 
Majesty's return from Hanover, when numberless addresses were 
presented. White's Chocolate House, near St. James's Palace, was the 
famous gaming-house, where most of the nobility had meetings and a 
society. It was given to me December 8, 1752. 

1 The Gamesters' Address to the King. 

'"Most Righteous Sovereign, 

'"May it please your Majesty, we, the lords, knights, etc., of 
the Society of White's, beg leave to throw ourselves at your Majesty's 
feet ;(our honours and consciences lying under the table, and our 
fortunes being ever at stake), and congratulate your Majesty's happy 
return to these kingdoms, which assembles us together, to the great 
advantage of some, the ruin of others, and the unspeakable satisfaction 
of all, both us, our wives, and children. We beg leave to acknowledge 
your Majesty's great goodness and lenity in allowing us to break those 
laws which we ourselves have made, and you have sanctified and con- 
firmed, while your Majesty alone religiously observes and regards 
them. And we beg leave to assure your Majesty of our most un- 
feigned loyalty and attachment to your sacred person, and that next 
to the kings of diamonds, clubs, spades, and hearts, we love, honour, 
and adore you." 

1 To which his Majesty was pleased to return this most gracious 
answer : 

1 " My Lords and Gentlemen, 

' " I return you my thanks for your loyal address ; but whilst I 
have such rivals in your affection as you tell me of, lean neither think 
it worth preserving or regarding. I look upon you yourselves as a 
pack of cards, and shall deal with you accordingly." ' * 

1 See Cole's MSS., vol. xxxi., p. 171, in the British Museum. 



Nollekens' dinner-parties and visitors Mr. Taylor Economical 
eccentricities of Mrs. Nollekens Dr. Johnson The sculptor and 
the snow model in Oxford Market Mr. White of Fleet Street 
Mrs. Nollekens and the modeller in butter Salubrious air of 
Hampstead, and artists residing there Manoeuvres of Mrs. Nol- 
lekens in dress, etc. 

One day, when some friends were expected to 
dine with Mrs. Nollekens, poor Bronze, labouring 
under a severe sore throat, stretching her flannelled 
neck up to her mistress, hoarsely announced c all 
the Hawkinses ' to be in the dining-parlour ! Mrs. 
Nollekens, in a half-stifled whisper, cried : ' Nolly, 
it is truly vexatious that we are always served so 
when we dress a joint ; you won't be so silly as to 
ask them to dinner ?' Nollekens : c I ask them ! 
let 'em get their meals at home ; I'll not encourage 
the sort of thing ; or, if they please, they can go to 
Mathias's ; they'll find the cold leg of lamb we left 
yesterday.' Mrs. Nollekens : 'No wonder, I am sure, 
they are considered so disagreeable by Captain Grose, 
Hampstead Steevens, Murphy, Nichols, andBoswell.' 
At this moment who should come in but Mr. 
John Taylor 1 (who will be often mentioned in this 

1 John Taylor, the portrait-painter (1739-1838). He invested his 
earnings in the long annuities, so as to be safe to the age of one 


work) ; he looked around and wondered what all 
the fuss could be about. ' Why don't you go to your 
dinner, my good friend ?' said he ; ' I am sure it 
must be ready, for I smell the gravy.' Nollekens, 
to whom he had spoken, desired him to keep his 
nonsense to himself. Taylor : c Well, well, well, I 
own I ought to have nothing to do with family 
affairs. I see your dog Daphne has the mange ! 
You should put some brimstone in his water ; it is 
a very fine purifier of the blood ; indeed, I take it 
myself now and then ; and I recollect my old 
friend, Jonathan Tyers, never suffered any of his 
dogs to be without it. Heighday !' looking behind 
the screen, c why, here's a boy naked ! What, 
Tom, is it you ?' l Yes, sir,' replied I. Taylor : 
4 Why, what are you sitting for now ? You were a 
Cupid the other day. Oh, a Mercury, I see a 
pretty compliment, faith ! Well, you must mind 
what you're about. However, Nollekens has made 
a god of you, you'll remember that. I say, who's 
coming here to dinner, do you know ? He has 
never asked me to dine with him as yet ; I don't 
know what he may do ; nor did he ever send me a 
slice of the Yarborough venison. Well, perhaps I 
am as well without it, though I must own I like 
venison : Quin was fond of it, too. He and my 
master, Frank Hayman, 1 knew the taste of it full 
well ; and I recollect when Lord Sandwich gave a 

hundred, and escaped penury only by dying in his ninety-ninth 
year. Ed. 

1 Francis Hayman (1708-1776) was a foundation member of the 
Royal Academy. Ed. 


dinner to Lady Vane in Vauxhall Gardens the 
haunches were fifty shillings apiece.' 

This dispute had lasted so long that perhaps the 
1 Hawkinses ' overheard it, for they had silently let 
themselves out without even ringing the bell. 
Shortly after the invited party arrived, and I, who 
had been ' a very good lad,' was allowed to remain 
in the studio to finish my drawing for admission 
into the Royal Academy. Now, as this room was 
next to the dining-parlour, I could not avoid hear- 
ing part of the conversation, for, as there was not 
much to eat, there were many talkers ; but before 
the company sat down they were requested to walk 
upstairs for a moment, to see Angelica Kauff- 
mann's portrait of Mrs. Nollekens, who was painted 
in the character of Innocence, with a dove, of a 
three-quarter size, for which she had just received 
15 15s. In the meantime Bronze, who had been 
assisting the cook to put on the dishes, called to 
me through the keyhole : ' Bless you, Master 
Smith, come and see our set-out !' And as the 
scanty display for so many persons astonished me, 
I shall endeavour to describe the c spread,' 1 as it is 
called at Cambridge. 

Two tables were joined ; but as the legs of one 
were considerably shorter than those of the other, 
four blocks of wood had been prepared to receive 
them. The damask tablecloth was of a coffee- 
colour, similar to that formerly preferred by 
washers of Court ruffles. I recollect that the 

1 In English, 'A few things, sufficient to keep body and soul 
together.' Smith. 


knives and forks matched pretty well ; but the 
plates of Queen's ware had not only been ill-used 
by being put upon the hob, by which they had lost 
some of their gadrooned edges, but were of an 
unequal size, and the dishes were flat, and therefore 
held little gravy. The dinner consisted of a roasted 
leg of pork, the joint scented by their friend Taylor ; 
a salad, with four heads of celery standing pyra- 
midically ; mashed turnips neatly spooned over a 
large flat plate to the height of a quarter of an 
inch ; and, lastly, 

' Lo ! a lobster introduced in state, 
Whose ample body stretches o'er the plate. 5 

The side-dishes were a chicken and a reindeer's 
tongue, with parsley and butter, but the boat was 
without a ladle, and the plate hardly large enough 
for it to stand in. Close to Mrs. Nollekens' left 
elbow stood a dumb waiter with cheese, a slice of 
butter, a few watercresses, and a change of plates, 
knives, and forks. 

The dinner being announced, there was a great 
rustling of silks for preference of places, and I 
concluded, by the party drawing their chairs close, 
they were ready to begin ; but Bronze used to say : 
1 No one could eat till he was red in the face at 
master's table.' The set at the table consisted of 
Nollekens, his wife, and five on a side. No chal- 
lenges at dinner that I heard of, nor do I think 
wine was even mentioned until the servants were 
ordered to ' take off.' Much about this time there 
was a great bustle, in which I distinctly heard 
Mrs. Nollekens' voice vociferate : ' I will have it 


found !' At last Bronze entered, to whom she had 
given peremptory commands to fetch it. Mr. 
Nollekens: 'And, arter all, pray where did you 
find it ?' Bronze : l Why, sir, under the pillow of 
your bed.' ' There, Mr. N., I knew you had used 
it last night.' Nollekens ordered Bronze out of the 
room, saying ' he never liked that woman ; her 
mouth looked so much like the rump of a chicken.' 
This nameless article was then caught first by one 
elderly maiden, and then by another ; and as for 
Miss Welch, she declared a 'back-scratch' to be 
the most agreeable thing imaginable, and she was 
glad it was found, as it had been her mother's, 
adding that Cowper was perfectly correct in his 
assertion upon things mislaid : 

1 For 'tis a truth well known to most, 
That whatsoever thing is lost, 
We seek it, ere it come to light, 
In every cranny but the right.' 

Mrs. Nollekens : ' My dear Nolly, you had no 
occasion to have wasted the writing-paper for the 
claret, for, as it is the only bottle with a tall neck, 
we should have known it. My dear Mrs. Paradice, 
you may safely take a glass of it, for it is the last 
of twelve which Mr. Caleb Whitef oord sent us as 
a present ; and everybody who talks about wine 
should know his house has ever been famous for 
claret.' Mr. Nollekens : l Don't crack the nuts with 
your teeth, Miss Moser ; you'll spoil them.' ' Ay, 
and what would Mr. Fuseli say to that ?' asked 
Mr. Saunders Welch, who now spake for the first 
time. The ladies at last retired, and Bronze soon 


declared tea to be ready, upon which the gentlemen 
went to the drawing-room, though without Mr. 
Nollekens, who remained to give orders for the 
salad to be put up again for the next day. 

On the following morning Mr. Taylor popped in 
as usual, and wished to know, ' in the name of 
Fortune,' who had dined there yesterday ; and 
being told of a few of the persons, one of whom 
had just lost his wife, his memory served him 
again as to his old master Hayman. l Ay,' said he, 
4 my master, Frank Hayman, was a droll dog. I 
recollect when he buried his wife a friend asked 
him why he expended so much money on her 
funeral. " Ah, sir," replied he, " she would have 
done as much, or more, for me with pleasure." 

Mrs. Nollekens was a collector of prints, by 
receiving presents from those engravers who were 
candidates for the Associates' chairs in the Royal 
Acadenw. She had several en^ravin^s after Claude, 
with whom she always expressed herself delighted^ 
and whenever she had occasion to show them would 
invariably make the following observation : 4 It is 
very remarkable that Claude, Salvator Rosa, and 
Nicholas Poussin lived close beside each other on 
the Trinita del Monte.' 

Mrs. Nollekens, well knowing her dear father to 
be fond of a glass of Yorkshire ale, endeavoured 
economically to procure a little, though her attempts 
were unsuccessful ; and, indeed, she was frequently 
heard to declare herself by no means obliged to her 
neighbour, Mr. Sparrow, for so often declining to 
allow her something for the odd bottles she had in 


her cellar. It was true that they were mostly of 
different shapes and sizes, but that she could not 
help, as they were all presents. ' However,' added 
she, c as that is the case, they would better suit all 
sorts of purposes; he might have taken them, particu- 
larly as I have frequently told him Mr. Nollekens 
did not punish him for having his bills stuck 
against our yard-gates when he advertised for his 
son,' a fine youth, who was afterwards discovered 
to have been drowned when bathing in Marylebone 

Mr. and Mrs. Nollekens, who made a point of 
never visiting people at their country lodgings, 
where there was often too great a makeshift, had 
no objection to obey the truly kind commands of 
Sir Joshua Reynolds, Sir William Chambers, or 
Mr. Wilton, 1 at their delightful villas, where every- 
thing was perfection itself ; but they were more 
particularly pleased when Sir Joshua accommo- 
dated Dr. Johnson and themselves with seats in his 

By such an indulgence they not only avoided the 
fare to Richmond, but by keeping the carriage 
some time at the door, to the great annoyance of 
the Doctor, who once roared out, ' Come, Nolly I 
Nolly!' proved to the Rev. Mr. Martin, 2 and other 

1 Joseph Wilton, R.A., the sculptor. See Prefatory Essay. Ed. 

2 Of this most respectable clergyman, who for many years was Mr. 
Nollekens' next-door neighbour, there are two most admirable like- 
nesses, both painted and engraved by Linnell. Mr. Martin, whose 
literary works are well known, for many years had a chapel in Grafton 
Street, Soho, from whence he went to an entirely new one in Keppel 
Street, Russell Square. Smith. 


neighbours in Mortimer Street, who were sure at 
that moment to be applied to for her lost cat, how 
much they were respected by the President of the 
Eoyal Academy and the renowned Dr. Johnson, 
the latter being at that time so popular that gentle- 
men continued to pass and repass, purposely to feed 
their sight upon so excellent and learned a character. 

During: a severe frost, after a heavv fall of snow, 
an Oxford Market butcher meeting Nollekens at 
the barber's, requested him to visit a snow house, 
which he and several other lads of the steel had 
erected, in which he said twelve pretty corpulent 
people could comfortably dine. Our sculptor, being 
always fond of sights, went with him, when a few 
greasy brothers of the knife surrounded him within, 
and swore they would not let him out unless he 
paid his footing. The R.A., however, gave them 
only sixpence, insisting that it was quite enough 
for a model in snow, which so exasperated the 
brutal architects that the wickedest son of Palladio 
thawed with a warm, smoky poker the name of 
Nollekens upon the outside of the hut, which 
induced the observers to believe and report that he 
had made it. 

This most scandalous insinuation annoyed Mrs. 
Nollekens exceedingly, and the butchers insisted 
upon her giving them five shillings to take it out, 
which demand she paid, and afterwards went by 
the appellation of their Frosty Friend. Indeed, 
for a long time Nollekens was bantered by Barry, 
the painter who, though he could not bear a joke, 
knew pretty well where to pass one, and was per- 


fectly master of wit enough to render it a nuisance 
to those at whose door he thought proper to throw 
it who gave Nollekens the nickname of a ' Frozen- 
hearted Architect,' who could ' so coolly, in such an 
inclement season, deliberately erect a mansion with 
neither a door, a window, nor a fireplace. And 
how, in the name of Fortune, he could think of 
gaining a tenant to reimburse himself for two 
weeks together, was to his friends quite enig- 
matical. However, there was one thing which 
even his enemies could not charge him with a 
fault too common anions; manv modern builders 
he had not laid a rotten foundation.' 

No friend could perplex Mrs. Nollekens more 
than by presenting her with a turkey, when she 
was without a cook to draw the sinews of the legs, 
as every poulterer in the neighbourhood had re- 
peatedly refused her custom, in consequence of 
her tiresome mode of offering them less than the 
market price for their chickens, and always leaving 
their shops without once making a single purchase, 
so that her only means of procuring poultry was 
of the higglers : their fowls, she found out, were 
either so ill fed, or of such an enormous age, that 
there was no gravy to follow the knife, a sure 
proof, she observed, that they could neither be the 
genuine Dorking nor the true ' barn-door birds.' 

There was one man, however, a cheesemonger, 
then living at the corner of Wells Street, who 
always got the whip-hancl of her in an exchange 
for butter whenever she had more game in the 
house than would well keep for use ; for as to 


giving any away, that was an act she could not 
honestly record in her diary whilst she could get 
Mr. Mason's butter in return, cheese being never 
allowed nor seen in her house, but at set dinners, 
when, as there was a partition in the old family 
tray, she generally sported samples of two sorts, 
taking particular care that they should not be too 
heavy for Bronze to put on over the head of her 

When straw hats had become unfashionable, 
Mrs. Nollekens hinted to old White, the hatter of 
Fleet Street, who frequently came to show Nolle - 
kens one of his Roman medals or a lamp, that 
possibly he could accommodate her with a Leghorn 
hat at a moderate rate. White, who was a cunning 
old fox, and well knew how to plough with another 
man's heifer, seldom visited Mr. Nollekens' studio, 
by way of getting the loan of a model, or a squeeze 
of something old or singularly curious, without first 
looking into the parlour to see how his dear friend 
Welch's daughter was, at the same time taking 
care to present her with an old-fashioned hat, well 
knowing that she cut them into more modern 
shapes, and covered them either with velvet from 
an old tippet, or a silk hatband. Nollekens, finding 
his wife always benefited by these visits, never 
refused White a squeeze of a patera, or anything 
that would answer his purpose ; and at the same 
time, when he was gone, he readily joined in the 
laugh against old Gerrard, and the other fools who 
had been for years duped by old White, who had 
turned his wine-cellars into manufactories for the 


produce of cast coins, and modern squeezes from 
Roman lamps. 

These imitations White put into auctions and 
venders' shops for sale, and they were actually 
bought with avidity by the profound judges and 
collectors of such trash, who would, when the 
secret was discovered, rather than acknowledge 
their own want of judgment in such matters, boldly 
insist upon their originality, and call the man who 
declared himself as their fabricator ' an impudent 
impostor.' White has not been the only one whose 
performances have deceived unwary collectors ; and 
even the learned have sometimes been pleased to 
impose copies upon themselves, to the no little 
injury of the man of real taste and talent, who 
produced some of their boasted treasures from the 
rough material. There can be little doubt as to the 
possibility of deceiving collectors in almost every 
pursuit ; and I should expect that if the imitations 
of Greek and Roman art could declare themselves, 
many a curious tale could be told by some of those 
now hoarded up in cabinets, for which pretty heavy 
sums have been given by their happy possessors. 

I must own Mrs. Xollekens had one quality 
which dignifies a superior woman she seldom inter- 
fered in her husband's profession and concerns 
with the world, and during the whole of my 
observations upon that lady's deportment I wit- 
nessed only two liberties, if, indeed, they may be 
called so, that she took with her Nolly's profes- 
sional career, and one was when that great article 
of consumption, butter, was concerned. One morn- 


ing a very handsome woman, who lodged in the 
first-floor of No. 5, Oxford Market, modestly 
rapped at the door. Mr. Nollekens, who was 
giving me instructions to knead the clay for a bust 
of Mr. Mathias, according to his usual custom, 
answered the knock, and when he saw the beautiful 
creature, whom I had seen over the window-blinds, 
he said : c Come in, my dear ; who sent you to me ?' 
c No one, sir ; my friends tell me I have a peculiar 
talent for modelling in butter, and I have brought 
a few pigs and sheep in this butter-boat to show 
you.' ' Walk in, walk in ; this is only my pupil, 
and he won't say a word about it.' c I beg your 
pardon, sir, for the intrusion ; perhaps I ought to 
have informed you that I am a housekeeper in want 
of a situation, and finding that the knowledge of 
modelling animals in butter would greatly add to 
my recommendation, I have taken the liberty of 
submitting the little things I have done to vour 

At this moment the studio -door was opened, 
and Mrs. Nollekens, with her usual precision 
of words, stepped up to her husband, and, putting 
her finger upon his sleeve, said : ' Surely Mr. 
Nollekens will not suffer himself to be looked 
upon in the light of a pastrycook ! What have 
you, my dear sir, to do with modelling in butter ? 
the world will say that you have taught Mrs. 
what is your name, my good woman ?' ' Wilmot.' 
' Mrs. Wilmot to model in butter ! Pray, are you 
married, Mrs. Wilmot ?' ; No, I can't say I am 
married, ma'am.' ' Mr. Nollekens, I wish to sjoeak 


with you in the next room.' What was said there 
I know not, but Mrs. Wilmot observed to me, ' She 
is jealous so far my good looks are against me.' 

In what way Mr. Nollekens was prevailed upon 
I cannot tell, but true it is he did not return into 
the room, though his wife entered, who delivered 
the following address to the handsome housekeeper : 
1 Mr. Nollekens is extremely sorry to say that his 
professional engagements at this season of the year 
will not permit him to attend to your wishes, but 
that, if you will leave your address with me, he will 
consider himself your debtor.' Mrs. Wilmot gave 
the address as before mentioned, and then, after 
replacing her lambs, sheep, and pigs in the butter- 
boat, retired gracefully ; at least, in my opinion, 
though at that time, I must own, my ideas of grace 
were not very extensive. It was curious to remark 
that for some time after the visit from the beautiful 
butter-modeller of Oxford Market, Mrs. Nollekens 
made her husband pass the lady's door, in order to 
discover how far he had an inclination to improve 
her acquaintance. 

After this rencontre, Mrs. Nollekens ventured 
occasionally to give an opinion as to the propriety 
of professional applications to Mr. Nollekens ; for 
I recollect another intrusion upon him of a similar 
kind, by a person who cut out castles, rocks, and 
mountains upon the backs of shells, and all with a 
common penknife. Here, for the love of the true 
character of Nolly's professional life, she again 
interfered, observing to him that he ought not to 
attend to such visitors. ' You might just as well,' 


continued she, l praise the carvings upon a Wycher- 
lev comb, so carefully preserved by the collectors 
of old china and such gimcracks. Why, bless my 
heart ! soon, sir, you will have the man who 
dresses Dr. Lettsom's glass wig, to know how he 
ought to replace a deficient curl, or how much of 
its possessor's face it should cover, so that his 
forehead might be seen to the best advantage.' 

Mrs. Nollekens, from her mother's experience, 
insisted that it was by far the cheapest and least 
troublesome plan for a single person, whose health 
required fresh air, and was unattended by a servant, 
to lodge at a regular boarding-house, as the lower 
class of people, in general, who let lodgings, were 
much addicted to pilfer from every article of con- 

Towards the later part of her life she expressed 
a wish to go once more to Hampstead, a spot 
considered by most physicians and landscape- 
painters as the most salubrious and beautiful of all 
the Montpeliers of England ; but she could neither 
make up her mind as to the enormous expense 
of its accommodations, nor as to the peculiar 
fragrance of its seven sorts of air, which of them 
she ought then to prefer. The latter perplexity 
afforded her at times much conversation ; and when 
she was requested to name the seven airs, she, 
in an elevated voice, stated them thus : ' My dear 
sir, there are the four sides of the hill, each re- 
ceiving freely the air from the four quarters. 
There is the hill itself, very clear, but certainly 
often bleak. Then there is the " Vale of Health," 


as it is called, in a stagnate bottom ; a pit in the 
heath, where, if a bit of paper is whirling in the 
air, it can never rise above the high ground about 
it. And is there not also the mild air of the centre 
of the town, where the situation, though high, is 
entirely sheltered by surrounding buildings ?' 

Wilson, Gainsborough, Loutherbourg, and Kirk 
for several years had lodgings at Hampstead, and 
made that spot the seat of their morning and 
evening study ; and Collins and Linnell, now 
inhabitants, are constantly seen culling its beauties. 
It is also occasionally the residence of Beechey, 
Phillips and Westall ; and I have seen Callcott, 
Arnald, the Reinagles, Burnet, and Martin enjoy- 
ing its luxuriant windings. Old Oram, 1 the land- 
scape-painter, and member of the Board of Works, 
who was a man of some genius, inhabited the house 
south of Jack Straw's Castle. And it was to 
Hampstead that Hayley's friend, Romney, the 
painter, retired in the decline of his life, when he 
built a dining-room close to his kitchen, with a 
buttery-hatch opening into it, so that he and his 
friends might enjoy beef-steaks, hot and hot, upon 
the same plan as the members of the Beefsteak 
Club are supplied at their room in the Lyceum. 

No persons could more cordially hate each other 
than Romney and Nollekens ; Mr. Greville, 
Hayley, and Flaxman were stanch friends of the 
former, who, from some pique, objected to the 
latter modelling from any of his portraits. Flax- 

1 William Oram, a decorator of country houses, and from 1748 
master carpenter of all his Majesty's works. Ed. 


man, on the contrary, was so great a favourite with 
Romney that, in his letters to Hayley, he abso- 
lutely idolizes him ; and in one, written at the time 
he was hourly expected in London from Rome, he 
exultingly exclaims : ' Huzza ! Flaxman's arrived !' 

To return. Hampstead has been for years re- 
sorted to by Barret, Fielding, Glover, Hills, Hunt, 
Prout, Pyne, Robson, the Varleys, and all the 
other celebrated water-colour draughtsmen, whose 
productions have so astonishingly surpassed those 
of their predecessors, both in this and in every 
other country. 

My old school-fellow, Smith, the grocer, of 
Margaret Street, has been frequently heard to 
declare that, whenever Mrs. Nollekens purchased 
tea and sugar at his father's shop, she always 
requested, just at the moment she was quitting the 
counter, to have either a clove or a bit of cinnamon 
to take some unpleasant taste out of her mouth ; 
but she never was seen to apply it to the part so 
affected : so that, with Nollekens' nutmegs, which 
he pocketed from the table at the Academy 
dinners, they contrived to accumulate a little stock 
of spices without any expense whatever. 

Mrs. Nollekens' friends, after frequently wonder- 
ing to see her in shoes so varied in their 
embroidery, and being well aware that she would 
never think of indulging in such expensive articles 
in a spick-and-span new state, all agreed that she 
certainly must have purchased them second-hand ; 
and by their maids, who were encouraged to 
\ pump' Bronze, were satisfied that it was really 



the fact ; and were also informed that her muffs 
and parasols were obtained in the same way. Mrs. 
Nollekens would often plume herself with borrowed 
feathers ; a shawl or a muff of a friend she never 
refused when returning home, observing that she 
was quite sure they would keep her warm, never 
caring how they suffered from the rain, so that her 
neighbours saw her apparelled in what they had 
never before seen her wear. 

[ '15 ] 


Mr. Nollekens' fancies and his wife's jealousy Anecdote of the 
sculptor, Dr. Johnson, and Mrs. Thrale Lord Bes[s] borough- 
Charles Bannister The sculptor's assistants and pupils Dr. John- 
son's encouragement of the author Instances of benevolence and 
eccentricity in Mr. Nollekens Notices of his relations Saunders 
Welch, his father-in-law Anecdote of Wilkes Henry Fielding and 
his character from life Dr. Johnson's intimacy with the Welch 
family Death, epitaph, and will of Mr. Welch Recollections of 
him by Mrs. Nollekens His prudence and resolution as a magis- 
trate Silver teapot and other relics of Dr. Johnson Mr. Welch's 
humanity Anecdotes of Wilson. 

Of all the varieties of itinerant amusements before 
Mr. Punch came into vogue, none seemed to give 
Nollekens more pleasure than the milkmaids' dance 
on May Day, of which he was so avowed an 
admirer that Mrs. Crosdale, my old schoolmistress 
and his opposite neighbour, assured me that she one 
May Day witnessed no less than five garlands, and 
their lasses, who had danced at his parlour window, 
to each of whom he had given half a crown. 

This indulgence of his was considered by Mrs. 
Nollekens as a great piece of extravagance, until 
she discovered from Bronze that it was the custom 
of most of the abandoned women who sat to him 
for his Venuses to hire themselves as dancers upon 
those occasions ; and as he constantly promised to 


give each of them something when they came, he 
always made a point of staying at home to see 
them display their agility. Sometimes Mrs. Nolle- 
kens, whose exquisite feelings induced her to stand 
at a distance to watch their lascivious movements, 
would rate him for descending to such low 
pleasures. ' A man like you,' she would say, ' who 
could obtain orders at any time for the Opera 
House, where you could see Vestris, and who is 
visited by the Noveres how you can agitate your 
feet as you do, at such strumming, is to me per- 
fectly astonishing ! See ! look over the way at the 
first-floor window of the Sun and Horseshoe ; the 
landlord and his wife are laughing at you: and I 
declare, there is Finney, your brute of a mason, 
yes, and his son Kit, ay, and old John Panzetta, 
the polisher, looking over their shoulders. How 
can you so expose yourself, Mr. Nollekens ? I 
wish from my heart Dr. Burney would come in 
just now ! and I am quite sure that Miss Hawkins, 
poor as her ear is for music, whose playing, as the 
Doctor says, distracts one to hear-^-even she, I say, 
could never be pleased with such trash as you are 
now listening to.' But lie was deaf to all her 
remonstrances, and continued to move his head to 
the movement of the feet of the girls, with as much 
gratification as the man of real taste and feeling 
expresses at this day, when he is riveted to the 
magic sweetness of Samuel Wesley's 1 voluntaries. 

Bronze, my informant, also stated that, as soon 
as Nolly had left the room to get his half-crown, 

1 The organist and musical composer (1766-1837). Ed. 


Mrs. Nollekens, after slowly and silently creeping 
to his abdicated place at the window, made the spot 
just in time to catch a hussy's wanton and decoy- 
ing leer, intended for her husband, at the very 
tantalizing moment that the blind disciple of 
G-eminiani was striking up Arnold's rondo of 
4 Come, thou rosy dimpled boy !' Upon his re- 
entering the room, her face being reddened and her 
anger raised, she recommenced her lecture with 
redoubled vociferation till the dance was over ; 
after which, finding her jobations of no avail, and 
having paced the carpet pretty often, and as often 
convinced herself that her gloves fitted closely to 
her fingers, she, bursting with passion, vowed to 
tell her sister. ' So do,' returned Nolly ; ' and 
then she'll tell you what a great fool you was for 
having me, as she always does.' c You filthy 
thing !' rejoined Mrs. Nollekens ; ' your grovelling 
birth protects you from my chastisement.' ' Come, 
I like that vastly,' rejoined her husband ; ' true it 
is, your father possessed a "plum"; 1 but then it 
was only a grocer's one. Why, I had five times 
the money he died worth when I made you my 
wife ; and you know what you whispered to me in 
bed about your mother. Come, let us have no 
more of your impertinence ; I won't stand it now, 
once for all, I tell you that.' Just as Mrs. Nolle- 
kens opened the door, she exclaimed : ' What, 
you're here, Mr. Eavesdropper ! and pray, Mr. 
Christopher, what do you want ?' ' Why, ma'am, 

1 A 'plum' in former days was indicative of a definite amount 
(10,000), just as 'a pony 'or 'a monkey' is now. But a 'grocer's 
plum' must evidently must have been much less. Ed. 


there's the woman that Mr. Cos way recommended 
at the yard-gate, dancing to " Jack-in-the-Green," 
and wants to see master.' ' Indeed ! There, sir ! 
there is another of your women ! What ! and you 
will go to her, too ! It's very well, sir ! mighty 
well, sir ! Oh, fie ! fie ! The first year of our 
marriage you told me you should dispense with 
such people ; hut you are like all the rest of your 
sex, always seeking for new beauties !' 

Just as Nollekens had closed his leathern bag, 
and was about to leave Jack's lady, a high person- 
age, who came to sit for her busto, was announced ; 
and then the lecture rested till the nocturnal curtains 
were drawn, when Bronze heard the culprit mumble 
for some time, as is usual in such cases, before the 
curtains of his eyes were suffered to drop for the 
enjoyment of balmy and refreshing sleep. 

Mrs. Thrale one morning entered NoUekens' 
studio, accompanied by Dr. Johnson, to see the bust 
of Lord Mansfield, when the sculptor vociferated : 
4 1 like your picture by Sir Joshua very much. He 
tells me it's for Thrale, a brewer, over the water : 
his wife's a sharp woman, one of the blue-stocking 
people.' ' Nolly, Nolly,' observed the Doctor, S I 
wish your maid would stop your foolish mouth with 
a bluebag.' At which Mrs. Thrale smiled, and 
whispered to the Doctor : ' My dear sir, you'll get 
nothing by blunting your arrows upon a block.' 

The late Earl of Bes[s] borough 1 was so well 

1 William, second Earl of Bessborough, who died in 1793, in his 
ninetieth year. He was a statesman of some temporary eminence. 


known to Nollekens' dog, that whenever the animal 
saw his lordship's leg within the gate he ceased 
barking, and immediately welcomed the visitor, who 
always brought a French roll in his blue great-coat 
pocket for him, with which his lordship took great 
pleasure in feeding him. But whenever he had been 
thus fed, Nollekens would say, when cutting his 
meat, ' There, that's enough for you ; you have had 
a roll to-day, the other half will do for to-morrow.' 

Whilst I am speaking of this truly benevolent 
nobleman, I will take the opportunity of observing 
that I have heard my father relate the following 
anecdotes of him : 

His lordship was once standing to see the work- 
men pull down the wooden railing and brickwork 
which surrounded the centre of Cavendish Square, 
when a sailor walked up to him and asked him for 
a quid of tobacco. His lordship answered : ' My 
friend, I don't take tobacco.' ' Don't you ?' rejoined 
the sailor ; ' I wish you did, master, for I have not 
had a bit to-day.' As he was turning away, his 
lordship called to him and said, ' Here, my friend, 
here is something that will enable you to buy 
tobacco,' and gave him half a crown. 

At another time, a poor woman with two children, 
who appeared much distressed, but was remarkably 
clean, curtseyed to his lordship as he was passing ; 
he drew out his purse, but in attempting to give 
her two shillings they dropped, and rolled into the 
kennel, upon which his lordship, after picking them 
up, wiped them with his pocket-handkerchief before 
he gave them to the distressed widow. 


Mr. Nollekens, who was honoured with frequent 
visits from his lordship, once asked his assistants 
in the studio if they had noticed his diamond 
buckles, adding that, as they had belonged to his 
wife, he had worn them in common ever since her 
ladyship's death. 

I was one time assisting Mr. Nollekens in the 
parlour, in piling up clay for a bust of General 
Paoli, when his attention was called away by Mrs. 
Nollekens, who cried out : ' Nolly, Nolly, come 
here ! There's old Bannister over the way, who 
used to mimic the cats in the gutter at Marylebone 
Gardens, when my father's friend, Tommy Lowe, 
was manager !' Nollekens : i He's a good-looking 
John Bull ; his son was a student in our Royal 
Academy, he studied under Loutherbourg (called 
Leatherbag in the play). I remember he used to 
frighten our old John devilishly with his tragedy 
tricks.' Miss Moser and Mrs. Carter being present 
at these remarks, ' My father,' observed the former, 
4 was glad when he left the Academy, though he 
liked him so well that he took a whole box at his 
first appearance ; and he was nobly received, I 
assure you.' Mrs. Nollekens : ' He is a most 
excellent actor.' i Ay,' observed the celebrated 
Mrs. Carter, as she was returning to the fireside, 
4 and what is still more, he bears the best of 
characters off the stage, for he is known under the 
friendly appellation of Honest Jack.' 

It is related of Charles Bannister that, when re- 
turning to town from Epsom in a gig, accompanied by 
a friend, they found themselves pennyless when they 


arrived at Kensington Gate, where the man would not 
let them pass without paying the toll. Bannister, 
however, offered to sing him a song, and immediately 
struck np the ' Tempest of War ' ; his voice was 
heard afar, and ' Bannister, Bannister!' was the cry. 
The gate was soon thronged, and he was loudly 
encored by the voters returning from Brentford ; 
this he complied with, and the turnpike man de- 
clared him to be 4 a noble fellow,' and that he 
would pay fifty tolls for him at any gate. 

By this time William Arminger, the young man 
whom Nollekens had employed in cutting Dr. Gold- 
smith's epitaph, had become extremely useful to 
him, for he had by slow degrees improved himself 
in the art of cutting marble as a sculptor. My 
father was then Nollekens' principal assistant ; 
and Delvaux, a nephew of the sculptor of that 
name, Plara, the elder Gahagan, 1 and Green, 2 were 
among his best workmen. 

1 Sebastian Gahagan, an Irishman, and the most skilful of a family 
of modellers. Ed. 

2 The son of the celebrated actress, the daughter of Hippesley, and 
pupil of Kitty Clive. At this time Mr. Charles Townley was a 
constant visitor to the studio, and I remember him as being the first 
patron who ever gave me money as an encouragement to proceed in 
my studies ; for upon his noticing a drawing which I was then 
making, he took out his purse and presented me with half a guinea to 
buy chalks and paper. But what is more singular in my humble 
history is that Dr. Samuel Johnson came up to me the same day, and 
feeling for my head, put his hand upon it, and said, ' Very well, 
Aratus !' that being the bust I was copying. I can perfectly remember 
the figure of that awkward and mighty man, whose benevolence, 
loyalty, and strict religious principles will ever stand high examples to 
mankind, notwithstanding the numerous attacks which have fre- 
quently been made upon his reputation. Smith. 


It is not because it lias been stated that Mr. 
Nollekens was little more than one remove from an 
idiot that I should omit mentioning an act of charity 
bestowed by him on a fellow-creature. 

The first act of Jiis relaxation from meanness 
which I witnessed was the following : An artist, 
named George Eichardson, who published several 
useful works, 1 particularly upon architectural de- 
corations, was an old man at the period I speak of, 
and lived at No. 105, Titchfield Street, for many 
years, during which time he occasionally walked 
around the studio. One day he was asked by Mr. 
Nollekens what made him look so dull. ' I am 
low-spirited,' he replied. ' Then go to the pump 
and take a drink of water,' was the advice in return. 
The poor old man, after remaining a few minutes 
looking vacantly about him, went away in tears. Mr. 
Nollekens, who had just before been summoned to 
dinner, upon his return observed to my father that 
Eichardson ' looked glumpish.' c Ah, sir!' rejoined 
my father, ' he is distressed, poor fellow ! and you 
have hurt his feelings by desiring him to go to the 
pump for relief. He was in tears when he left us.' 
c Bless me, I hurt him!' cried Nollekens, and hastily 
walked out with his head foremost, putting both 
hands into his pockets. 

The next morning Mr. Eichardson was waiting 
at the studio for my father, to whom he gratefully 
expressed himself for what he had said to Mr. 
Nollekens, who had been with him the preceding 

1 He was the author of ' The New Vitruvius Britannicus,' and of 
1 A Complete System of Architecture.' Ed. 


evening, and, after asking if lie were offended with 
him for recommending the pump, stated that when 
he was low-spirited the pump always brought him 
to. Mr. Richardson, upon disclosing his circum- 
stances, expressed a wish to leave the world in 
the same room in which his wife died. ' Well,' 
observed Nollekens, ' and why should von not die 
there ? it's only a garret. Let the rest of the 
house, man ; you'll live rent free. One room will 
do for von ; sell vour furniture. Here, I have 
brought you twenty guineas ; and I'll allow you 
the same sum every year as long as you live.' 
Fndeed, my opinion of Mr. Nollekens is that, had 
he been led into good actions, he would have per- 
formed more ; and it is only to be lamented that 
some kind-hearted individual had not endeavoured 
to make him understand in the latter part of his 
long life, when he had heaped up such immense 
sums, that he should have recollected his poor 
cousins at Antwerp if they were his cousins. At 
all events, he should not have forgotten the near 
relations of his wife at Aylesbury, then and now 
declining in the deepest sorrow and aged infirmity, 
either within the walls or the precincts of the 

It is, however, unaccountable that, at the very 
time when he was so very humane to poor Richard- 
son, he absolutely suffered his own uncle and aunt 
to sell their beds to support them in water-gruel ; 
and it was not until the kind interference of Mr. 
Saunders Welch, who had, with his daughter 
Anne, seen them in Paris, that he allowed them 


30 a year. Their melancholy situation has 
been proved by several letters addressed to Mr. 
Nollekens, and lately produced before the Master 
in Chancery by Mr. Nelson Beechey, with a sight 
of which I have been favoured by John Stone, 
Esq., of Southampton Street, Bloomsbury, solicitor 
to Mr. Jasper Peck, one of Nollekens' first cousins, 
to whom he had left some very trifling remem- 
brances, considering his near relationship to his 
own mother. To the Rev. Mr. Kenrick Peck, 
another of his first cousins, nothing was left, and 
that gentleman has several children dependent on 
him for support. 

In speaking of these relations, it seems proper 
that I should now lay before my readers some little 
account of Saunders Welch, Esq., the father of 
Mrs. Nollekens. He was born at Aylesbury, was 
educated in the workhouse of that town, and was 
apprenticed to one of the most popular men of his 
day, Mr. Clements, the celebrated trunk-maker, at 
the corner of St. Paul's Churchyard, in London. 
But I must pass him on to manhood, for the 
want of intermediate information, with which his 
relative, Mr. Woodcock, is not able to furnish 
me, and fix him in trade, for he was manv years 
a grocer, occupying the shop, No. 1, at the 
south-west corner of Museum Street, late Queen 

My worthy friend, William Packer, Esq., of Great 
Baddow, in Essex, and many other venerable persons, 
recollect seeing him as High Constable of West- 
minster, dressed in black, with a large, nine-story 



George II. 's wig, highly powdered, with long flow- 
ing curls over his shoulders, a high three-cornered 
hat, and his black baton tipped with silver at either 
end, riding on a white horse to Tyburn with the 
malefactors. Mr. Welch was a member of the 
Beefsteak Club, when founded by Mr. Rich and 
George Lambert, the scene-painter, with whom he 
was intimate ; and I have often heard Mrs. Nolle- 
kens say it was her business to dress up for him a 
round hat with ribbons, similar to those worn by 
the Yeomen of his Majesty's Guard, which the 
gentlemen of that club then wore ; she added, too, 
that her father was so loyal a man that, when 
Wilkes was admitted a member, he withdrew him- 

My friend, the late Mr. Thomas Grignon, of 
Russell Street, Co vent Garden, informed me that as 
Mr. Wilkes was passing the house in which he then 
lived, in a hackney-chair, his father tapped at the 
window to him, which notice Mr. Wilkes returned 
by kissing his hand ; but he had not gone three yards 
before he ordered one of the chairmen to go to the 
gentleman who had tapped at the window, and inform 
him that he wished to speak with him. Mr. Grignon 
immediately went to him, and was addressed in 
nearly the following manner : 4 Grignon, you are 
intimate with Sir John Fielding. I am going to 
him upon a very singular business ; will you 
accompany me ?' ' Certainly,' he replied ; ' let me 
fetch my hat.' They went, and Mr. Wilkes, to the 
great astonishment of his friend, addressed the 
sitting magistrate, Mr. Spinnage, Sir John Fielding 


being absent, to this effect : l Sir, I demand a 
warrant to arrest the persons of the Secretaries 
of State, by whose order my bureau, desk, and 
escritoire have been broken open, and all my 
papers seized !' { God bless me !' said Mr. Grignon ; 
' Friend Wilkes, you are another John.' 4 Whom 
do you mean ? John Hampden ?' ' No ; John 
Lilburn,' he rejoined. \ Well, it's all one,'' observed 

Mr. Spinnage, however, refused to grant the 
warrant ; and Mr. Wilkes, after persisting in his 
right, and threatening the magistrate, went to 
Justice Welch, who smiled at his threats and re- 
fused his request. It must here be observed that 
Mr. Grignon was not aware of Mr. Wilkes's busi- 
ness or intention when he first accompanied him ; 
but, as he was a most liberal man, he would not 
desert him in a moment of difficulty. My friend 
Grignon assured me that his father's inadvertence 
deprived him of many of his best customers ; though 
he added that his father had no other acquaintance 
with Mr. Wilkes than that of frequently meeting 
him at the Beefsteak Club. 

Mr. Henry Fielding, in his ' Journal of a Voyage 
to Lisbon,' in 1754, published in 1755, when stating 
his great difficulty of moving himself, being dread- 
fully afflicted with the dropsy, says : ' By the 
assistance of my friend Mr. Welch, whom I never 
think or speak of but with love and esteem, I 
conquered this difficulty.' This was when he was 
getting into the vessel at Rotherhithe. When thev 
were at Gravesend, Monday, July 1, he says : ' This 


day Mr. Welch took his leave of me, after dinner.' 
Henry Fielding was fond of colouring his pictures 
of life with the glowing and variegated tints of 
Nature, by conversing with persons of every situa- 
tion and calling, as I have frequently been informed 
by one of my great-aunts, the late Mrs. Hussey, 
who knew him intimately. I have heard her say 
that Mr. Fielding never suffered his talent for 
sprightly conversation to mildew for a moment, 
and that his manners were so gentlemanly that, even 
with the lower classes, with which he frequently 
condescended particularly to chat, such as Sir 
Ros;er De Coverlev's old friends, the Vauxhall 
watermen, they seldom outstepped the limits of 
propriety. My aunt, who lived to the age of one 
hundred and five, had been blessed with four 
husbands, and her name had twice been changed 
to that of Hussey : she was of a most delightful 
disposition, of a retentive memory, highly enter- 
taining, and liberally communicative ; and to her 
I have frequently been obliged for an interesting 

She was, after the death of her second husband, 
Mr. Hussey, a fashionable sacque and mantua 
maker, and lived in the Strand, a few doors west 
of the residence of the celebrated Le Beck, a famous 
cook, who had a large portrait of himself for the 
sign of his house, at the north-west corner of Half- 
moon Street, since called Little Bedford Street. 
One day Mr. Fielding observed to Mrs. Hussey 
that he was then engaged in writing a novel, which 
he thought would be his best production, and 


that he intended to introduce in it the characters 
of all his friends. Mrs. Hussey, with a smile, 
ventured to remark that he must have many niches, 
and that surely they must already be filled. c I 
assure you, my dear madam,' replied he, ' there 
shall be a bracket for a bust of you.' Some time 
after this he informed Mrs. Hussey that the work 
was in the press ; but, immediately recollecting 
that he had forgotten his promise to her, went to 
the printer, and was time enough to insert in 
vol. iii., p. 17, where he speaks of the shape of 
Sophia Western : 

c Such charms are there in affability, and so sure 
it is to attract the praises of all kinds of people. 
It may, indeed, be compared to the celebrated 
Mrs. Hussey.' To which observation he has given 
the following note : c A celebrated mantua-maker 
in the Strand, famous for setting off the shapes of 

Mr. Boswell states that Dr. Johnson maintained 
a long and intimate friendship with Mr. Welch, 
who succeeded Fielding as one of his Majesty's 
Justices of the Peace for Westminster, and kept 
a regular office for the police of that district. The 
Doctor begins a letter addressed to Saunders Welch, 
Esq., at the English Coffee-house, Rome, dated 
February 3, 1778 : 

1 Dear Sir, 

' To have suffered one of my best and dearest friends to pass 
almost two years in foreign countries without a letter has a very 
shameful appearance of inattention. But the truth is that there was 
no particular time in which I had anything particular to say ; and 


general expressions of goodwill, I hope, our long friendship is grown 
too solid to want.' 

The Doctor, speaking of Miss Welch in another 
part of the same letter, notices that lady thus : 
1 Miss Nancy has doubtless kept a constant and 
copious journal.' It was not, however, towards 
Miss Welch that the Doctor had serious thoughts, 
but of her sister Mary; and I have heard Mr. 
Nollekens say that the Doctor, when joked about 
her, observed : 4 Yes, I think Mary would have 
been mine, if little Joe had not stepped in.' I 
must now, in order of time, state that Death spread 
his mantle over the family, and that everyone 
grieved for the loss of Mr. Welch, who died at 
Taunton Dean, in the county of Somerset. Upon a 
mural monument erected within the porch over the 
centre entrance of the Parish Church of St. George, 
Bloomsbury, is engraven the following inscription, 
written by Sir John Hawkins, Knight, father of 
John Sidney Hawkins, Esq., one of the editors of 
4 Ignoramus,' Henry Hawkins, Esq., and Matilda 
Letitia Hawkins, with whose writings the public is 
well acquainted : 

1 In the cemetery belonging to this Church lie the remains of 
Saunders Welch, Esq., late of this Parish, one of his Majesty's Justices 
of the Peace for the Counties of Middlesex, Surrey, and Buckingham, 
and for the City and Liberties of Westminster. He was born and 
educated at Aylesbury, in the County of Buckingham, and married 
Mary, the daughter of Will. Brotherton, Gent., by whom he had issue 
two surviving daughters, Maria and Ann. He departed this life 
31st day of October, 1784, in the 74th year of his age. 

1 As long as Themis with impartial hand 
Her blessings shall disperse throughout this land ; 



Or lenient statutes, or vindictive law, 
Protect the good, or hold the bad in awe ; 
Or Mercy, blending Grace with Justice, shed 
Her milder beams on the delinquent head ; 
While Probity and Truth shall be rever'd, 
And legal power as much belov'd as fear'd, 
So long shall fame to each succeeding day 
Thy virtues witness and thy worth display.' 

Mr. Welch, in his will, dated December 10, 1775, 
left his daughters Mary and Anne equal propor- 
tions of his leasehold estates ; but nearly all his 
movables he bequeathed to Anne, for her tenderness 
towards him in his decline of life. Tillotson's 
' Sermons,' etc., fell to the lot of Mary. To Sir 
John Hawkins he left five guineas ; to his son-in- 
law Nollekens he left fifteen guineas, to be laid out 
in a set of silver castors ; and to his steadfast friend 
Samuel Johnson, LL.D., whose memory must ever 
be revered, he left five guineas, which, says the enter- 
taining Boswell, the Doctor ' received with tender- 
ness as a kind memorial.' Mr. Welch's will has all 
the appearance of being genuine, and the greatest 
mass of the testator's property very properly de- 
volved to his daughters. Indeed, Mr. Welch was of 
such sound sense that no one dared to direct his 
conduct, or even to delude him by flattery or 

Whenever Mrs. Xollekens related any anecdote 
of her father, she always elevated her person by 
standing upon her toes at the conclusion of every 
extraordinary mark of his benevolence, courage, or 
sensible magisterial decision. 

Mrs. Nollekens often spake of his going, in 1766, 


into Cranbourne Alley unattended, to quell the daily 
meeting of the journeymen shoemakers, who had 
struck for an increase of wages. Immediately her 
father made his appearance he was recognised, and 
his name shouted up and down the alley, not with 
fear, but with a degree of exultation. ' Well,' said 
the ringleader, ' let us get him a beer-barrel and 
mount him ;' and when I13 was up, they one and 
all gave him three cheers, and cried : 4 Welch ! 
Welch for ever V In the mildest manner possible, 
Mr. Welch assured them that he was glad to find 
they had conducted themselves quietly ; and at the 
same time, in the most forcible terms, persuaded 
them to disperse, as their meetings were illegal. 
He also observed to the master shoemakers, who 
were listening to him from the first-floor windows, 
that as they had raised the prices of shoes on 
account of the increased value of provisions, they 
should consider that the families of their work- 
men had proportionate wants. The result was 
that the spokesmen of their trade were called into 
the shops, and an additional allowance was agreed 

The men then alternately carried Mr. Welch on 
their shoulders to his office in Litchfield Street, gave 
him three cheers more, and set him down. Welch 
was a tall man, and when in the prime of life robust 
and powerful. But though his benevolence was 
unbounded in cases of distress, yet whenever neces- 
sity urged him to firmness, he was bold and resolute, 
as may be seen by the following anecdote : 

When the streets were entirely paved with pebble- 


stones up to the houses, hacknevmen could drive 
their coaches close to the very doors. It hap- 
pened that Mr. Welch had good information that a 
notorious offender, who had for some time annoyed 
the Londoners in their walks through the green 
lanes to Marylebone, and who had eluded the chase 
of several of his men, was in a first-floor of a house 
in Eose Street, Long Acre. After hiring the 
tallest hackney-coach he could select, he mounted 
the box with the coachman, and when he was close 
against the house he ascended the roof of the 
coach, threw up the sash of a first-floor window, 
entered the room, and actually dragged the fellow 
from his bed out at the window by his hair, naked 
as he was, upon the roof of the coach, and in that 
way carried the terror of the green lanes down 
New Street and up St. Martin's Lane, amidst the 
huzzas of an immense throng, which followed him 
to Litchfield Street. 

Sir John Fielding took cognizance of those 
offenders who were nearest Bow Street, such, for 
instance, as the inhabitants of Lewkner's Lane, 
Vinegar Yard, and Short's Gardens ; but more 
particularly that most popular of all gardens I 
mean that which is within and in the middle of 
St. Paul's parish, which garden became infamous 
when its splendid inhabitants exchanged their resi- 
dences for the newly-built mansions in Hanover, 
Grosvenor, and Cavendish Squares, and Holies and 
the other streets adjacent. It was at that period 
that Mother Needham, Mother Douglass (alias, 
according to Foote's ' Minor,' Mother Cole), and 


Moll King, the tavern-keepers, and the gamblers, 
took possession of the abdicated premises ; so that 
Sir John Fielding was in the hotbed of the three 
principal of all the vices. 

Saunders Welch's attention was for the most part 
confined to the abandoned women and pickpockets 
who frequented Hedge Lane, the Haymarket, Cran- 
bourne Alley, and Leicester Fields, the last of 
which, from the rough and broken state of its 
ground, and the shadow of a lofty row of elms 
which then stood in the road in front of most of 
the houses on the eastern side, was rendered a very 
dangerous part to pass, particularly before the 
streets were paved and publicly lighted. 

In addition to these, Mr. Welch had visitors 
among the frequenters of Marylebone Gardens, the 
highwaymen who committed nightly depredations 
in the adjacent lanes, the pickpockets who attended 
Whitfield's Meeting House in Long Acre, and the 
thousands of his Sunday friends who congregated 
in Marylebone Fields before the new road was 
made from Paddington to Islington ; when the 
public newspapers announced an inhabitant of the 
city to have arrived safely at his house in Mary- 
lebone ! It was the practice of Mr. Whitfield, 
before his chapel in Tottenham Court Road was 
finished in 1759, to preach of a Sunday evening in 
these fields ; and I have been credibly informed by 
William Packer, Esq., a gentleman now living in 
his ninetieth year, that he was there when it was 
supposed 50,000 persons were present, so much 
were the Marylebone fields frequented by the 


Londoners on a fine summer evening, and so great 
was the popularity of the preacher. Mr. Welch 
also derived no small share of business from the 
depredators who attended the executions at Tyburn. 
His office on those mornings, as well as Fielding's, 
was thronged by gentlemen who had lost their 
watches and pocket-books, or ladies who had been 
robbed of their velvet cardinals or purses. 

Dr. Johnson soon followed his friend Welch to 
the grave, as he died on Monday, December IS, 
1784, in the back room of the first-floor of his 
house in Bolt Court, Fleet Street, of which room I 
made a drawing just before Mr. Bensley, the 
printer, pulled that part of the house down to make 
wav for a staircase. 1 

As few persons are aware of the following anec- 
dote, I am sure that the curious reader will pardon 
my inserting it : Whilst I was assisting Mrs. Maria 
Cosway 2 with my advice as to disposing of the 
collection of her late husband, and thus putting 
some thousands of pounds in her purse, I was one 
morning agreeably surprised by a letter which she 
put into my hand, w r ritten by W. Hoper, Esq., 
giving me permission to make a drawing of Dr. 
Johnson's silver teapot in his possession, an article 
which had been described to me by W. V. Hellyer, 

1 There is not a vestige of the original house now remaining. 

2 Mary Cecilia Louisa Cosway, whose maiden name was Hadfield, 
married Richard Cosway, R.A., in 1781. She was herself a painter 
and a person of the highest eccentricity. She became the lady superior 
of a religious house at Lyons, after running away from her husband. 


Esq., of the Middle Temple, through whose kind- 
ness the owner had sent it to his friend, Mrs. 
Cos way, first for me to have tea from, and then 
to draw it, both of which I did with no little 

Upon the side of this teapot the following in- 
scription is engraven : 

' We are told by Lucian that the earthern lamp which had adminis- 
tered to the lucubrations of Epictetus was, at his death, purchased 
for the enormous sum of three thousand drachmas : why, then, may 
not imagination equally amplify the value of this unadorned vessel, 
long employed for the infusion of that favourite herb whose enliven- 
ing virtues are said to have so often protracted the elegant and 
edifying lucubrations of Samuel Johnson, the zealous advocate of 
that innocent beverage, against its declared enemy, Jonas Hanway. 
It was weighed out for sale under the inspection of Sir John Hawkins, 
at the very minute when they were in the next room closing the 
incision through which Mr. Cruickshank had explored the ruinated 
machinery of its dead master's thorax so Bray, the silversmith, con- 
veyed there in Sir John's carriage thus hastily to buy the plate, 
informed its present possessor, Henry Constantine Nowell, by whom 
it was, for its celebrated services, on November 1, 1788, rescued from 
the undiscriminating obliterations of the furnace.' 

The ensuing is an answer to one of my inter- 
rogatory epistles, affording me another opportunity 
of recording the fate of two other articles which 
had been the property of the late Dr. Johnson, and 
as it was received from my friend, the Rev. Hugh 
Bailye, Canon of Lichfield, I shall print it with a 
double gratification : 

* Lichfield, May 1, 1821. 
4 Dear Sir, 

' I certainly am in possession of the late Dr. Johnson's watch, 
which I purchased from his black servant, Francis Barber {vide 
Boswell's " Life " for an account of this watch). Dr. Johnson's 


punch-bowl is likewise in my possession, and was purchased by the 
Rev. Thomas Harwood, the historian of Lichfield. It was bought at 
Mr. Harwood's sale by John Barker Scott, Esq., banker, who after- 
wards presented it to me. 

' I am, dear sir, 

1 Yours faithfully, 

' Hugh Bailye. 
' To John Thomas Smith, 
Keeper of the Prints in the British Museum.' 

In vol. xxiv., p. 72, of Cole's MSS. in the British 
Museum, the reader will find a copy of a letter 
addressed to Mr. Cole bv George Steevens, dated 
May 14, 1782, and as it will afford the collector of 
the various portraits of Dr. Johnson a notice of one 
little known, I have here inserted it : 

' As some return for the portrait of Mr. Gray, and the specimen of 
his handwriting, I present you with the original sketch Dr. Johnson 
made for his " Life of Pope." Be not angry when you find that the 
same parcel includes his " Deformities," a Scottish pamphlet, written 
by a club of Caledonian wits. Every bookseller of credit in London 
has refused to sell it. The Doctor (who, by-the-by, is very ill, and 
I have many fears about him) laughs at such ribaldry, and offered, by 
way of frontispiece to it, a very ugly head of himself, which was 
meant to have been prefixed to his " Beauties," but was cancelled at 
my desire.' 

Mr. Welch, who was never happier than when 
he was rendering assistance to those among his 
numerous friends who stood in need of it, once 
kindly blamed Wilson, the landscape-painter, when 
he found him in a dejected state. ' You never come 
to dine with me now,' said he, c though you used to 
partake of my round of beef, and I am sure we 
have had many pleasant hours together.' Poor 
Wilson, who had existed for some time without 
selling a picture, regretted that Mr. Welch was not 


a collector of paintings. c I certainly do not under- 
stand them, my good fellow,' said he ; ' however, 
if you will dine with me next Monday week, I 
will then hespeak a fifteen-guinea picture of you.' 
Wilson pronounced him to be a noble creature, and, 
taking him by the hand, added : * Heaven knows 
where I may be by that time.' Mr. Welch then 
asked him : ' Are you engaged to-morrow ?' 4 No,' 
replied he. ' Well, then,' returned his friend, ' if 
you will send a picture to my house, and join me at 
dinner, I will pay you the money.' 

What person possessing the feelings of an English 
artist can hear the name of Wilson mentioned with- 
out secretly exulting that he was a native of our 
envied island ? And those who have perused the 
works of Dr. Wolcot must have been pleased at the 
homage which even that sarcastic genius paid to 
' Red-nosed Dick.' With my humble share of know- 
ledge in painting, I must, without fear of depriving 
either Turner, Callcott, or Arnald of one jot of their 
high celebrity, affirm that Wilson was a leviathan 
in his profession ; and this also was the opinion of 
a skilful practitioner and one of the first judges of 
art I allude to the ever-to-be-lamented Sir George 
Beaumont, Bart., who is deservedly entitled to the 
wreath of everlasting honour for presenting so 
choice a collection of pictures to our glorious 
National Gallery. 

Mr. Welch, in the course of a few months, re- 
peated to Wilson the proposition of sporting a 
round of beef and of making another fifteen-guinea 
purchase ; and in this manner he became possessed 


of the two beautiful pictures which descended to 
Mr. Nollekens, of which some further particulars 
w^ill be found in another part of this work. As to 
the picture of Dover Castle, which Mr. Nollekens 
also possessed, Mr. Welch purchased it at a furni- 
ture sale, by Wilson's recommendation, assuring 
him that it was the best picture he had ever painted. 
The town residence of that excellent connoisseur, 
Richard Ford, Esq., boasts a most splendid collec- 
tion of Wilson's pictures in every variety of his 
manner. This incomparable assemblage, which 
consists of nearly fifty specimens, had been the 
property of Lady Ford, his mother, who, upon his 
marriage, most liberally presented them to him ; 
her ladyship became possessed of them at the 
death of her father. The same gentleman has 
also many of Wilson's finest drawings from nature, 
which he principally made when studying at Rome, 
one of wdiich is particularly interesting, since it 
contains Wilson's own figure, seated on the ground 
in his bag-wig, making a drawing of Raffaelle's 

The late Paul Sanclby, 1 Esq., once showed me a 
fine collection of Wilson's drawings, to which he 
attached the following anecdote : Wilson, well 
knowing the frequent intercourse Mr. Sandby had 
with some of the highest persons in the country, 
solicited him to show a portfolio of his drawings to 
his pupils. Paul Sandby, with his usual liberality, 
did so, and spake highly in their favour ; but found 

1 Paul Sandby (1725-1809), the father of English water-colour 
painting. Ed. 


that the amateurs, or gentlemen draughtsmen, pre- 
ferred highly-finished drawings to mere sketches, 
and finding his repeated attempts to serve his old 
friend Wilson fruitless, was induced to make the 
purchase himself, without allowing him to know 
that he had been unsuccessful in his applications. 

[ HO ] 


Interview between Mr. Nollekens and Nathaniel Hone Hone's 
satirical picture on Sir Joshua Reynolds and Angelica Kauffmann 
Account of Hone's exhibition of it, with extracts from his state- 
ment Other notices of Hone and his pictures Short stature of 
Garrick and Nollekens Anecdote by Mrs. Garrick of Dance's 
picture of her husband as Richard III. Mrs. Nollekens' dog 
Sagacity of that of Mrs. Garrick Norman the dog-doctor Mrs. 
Radcliffe's dogs. 

One day 1 Daphne, the dog, announced the approach 
of a stranger in the yard, and a tall, upright, large 
man, with a broad-brimmed hat, and a lapelled coat 
buttoned up to his stock, with measured and stately 
steps entered the studio, walked up to Mr. Nolle- 
kens, who was then modelling a bust of Sir Charles 
Eyre Coote, and, full of self-importance, saluted 
him with ' Joseph Nollekens, Esquire, K.A., how 
do you do ?' 

Nollekens, who never liked him, answered, ' Well, 
now, I suppose, you're come to get me to join you 
in the Academy to-night against Sir Joshua, but 
you're very much mistaken ; and I can tell you 
more, I never will join you in anything you propose. 
You're always running your rigs against Sir Joshua ; 
and you may say what you please, but I have never 

1 It must have been in 1775. Ed. 


had any opinion of you ever since you painted that 
picture of the " Conjurer," as you called it. I don't 
wonder they turned it out of the Academy. And 
pray, what business had you to bring Angelica into 
it ? You know it was your intention to ridicule 
her, whatever you or your printed paper and your 
affidavits may say ; however, you may depend upon 
it, she won't forget it, if Sir Joshua does.' 

The visitor, who proved to be no other than 
Nathaniel Hone, 1 the enamel-painter, replied, c Why, 
now, how can you be so ill-tempered this morning ? 
I have brought you two prints which I bought in a 
lot at old Gerard's.' Nollekens : 'Well, I don't 
care ; you don't bribe me in that way ; I know 
what you are going to do to-night, and I'll vote 
against you, so you may take your prints back 

Hone : c Why, one of them is by Captain Baillie, 
one of the Commissioners of the Stamp Office.' 

Nollekens : ' Ay, he's another swaggering fellow, 
too ; he was praising the print you have engraved 
in mezzotinto, of Grose and Forrest, from another 
picture that did you no good. It proves you to be 
a man of no religion, or you would not sport with 
the Roman Catholics in that way.' Here the dialogue 
ended, by Hone wishing Joseph Nollekens, Esquire, 
R.A., a good morning. 

As few people now living are aware of the par- 
ticulars of Hone's attack upon Sir Joshua Reynolds, 
I shall here insert some extracts from a paper which 

1 He was born in Dublin in 1718, was a foundation member of the 
Royal Academy, and died in 1784. Ed. 


had been industriously distributed by Hone among 
those persons who he thought were most likely to 
take part with him in the abuse of the honourable 
President ; but before I introduce them, the reader 
should be apprised of the following particulars : 
Mr. Hone, who had been a fashionable miniature- 
painter in enamel, commenced oil-painting upon a 
large scale ; but in that branch of the art he was 
not so successful as in the former. Indeed, he 
found Reynolds carry away the principal patronage, 
which rendered him so jealous that he took every 
opportunity of endeavouring to defame him. And 
well knowing that Sir Joshua had borrowed the 
attitudes of some of his portraits from those of 
Vandyke, etc., he painted a picture of an old man 
in a gown, holding a wand in his hand, in the act of 
commanding the very engravings which he affirmed 
Sir Joshua had used, to rise out of the flames, which 
picture Hone called the c Conjurer.' There was at 
first some indelicacy which he had introduced in 
the centre of the picture, but which he afterwards 
painted out, respecting a slanderous report which 
had been whispered as to Sir Joshua and Angelica 

This picture of the ' Conjurer ' being considered 
by the members of the Royal Academy as a most 
malicious satire upon their President, they very 
honourably agreed in Council that it should not 
be exhibited by them ; upon which decision Mr. 
Hone, as the picture had been the subject of much 
conversation, determined upon having an exhibition 
of his own works, consisting of sixty-six in number, 


in which the rejected one of the ' Conjurer ' held the 
most conspicuous place. The room in which they 
were exhibited is now a. workshop behind the house 
of Messrs. Mouchett and Wild, No. 70, St. Martin's 
Lane, opposite to Old Slaughter's Coffee-house. 
Upon my questioning the late Associate, Mr. Horace 
Hone, upon this transaction of his father, he favoured 
me with a sight of the original catalogue ; and as 
it is now considered the Greatest rarity in the 
Academic annals, I insert the following extracts 
from it : 

'Many false reports having been spread relating to a picture called 
the "Conjurer," painted by Mr. Hone, and offered to the Royal 
Academy Exhibition this season, he is advised by some very respect- 
able friends to give a short statement of facts to the public, which he 
hopes will clear his character from the malicious aspersions attempted 
to be fixed on him, as well as excuse him from the presumption of 
making an exhibition singly of his own works. 

' After the picture in question had remained several days, and was 
actually hung up in the Royal Academy Exhibition, Sir William 
Chambers, with another gentleman of the Council of the Academy, 
came to Mr. Hone at his house, and informed him that it had been 
rumoured that he had made an indecent figure or caricature of an 
eminent female artist, and that they should be sorry such an indelicacy 
should be offered to the public, or words to this purpose. Mr. Hone 
was greatly surprised at the accusation, and assured the gentlemen 
that he had always had the highest esteem for the lady alluded to, 
both on account of her reputation as an artist, as well as for her other 
accomplishments ; and that, to remove the possibility of such a sus- 
picion, he would alter any figure she or they chose the very next day, 
or before the exhibition ; and that he did not intend to represent any 
female figure in that picture, except the child leaning on the conjuror's 
knee, and hoped they would do him the justice to remove any pre- 
judice the lady might have. The next morning two more gentlemen 
of the Council (with that other gentleman who had been the night 
before with Sir William) called upon Mr. Hone, who were all of them 
so obliging to do him the justice to say they had carefully looked at 
the figures, and would clear him of the supposition of there being any 


woman figure, that they were well assured they were intended to mean 
the contrary sex. Mr. Hone assured them, as before, of his respect 
for the lady ; nor did he trust to this alone, but went himself twice 
that day to wait on the fair artist to convince her of the error, but 
was refused admittance. He thereupon sent a letter by his son, who 
delivered it into her own hands, and whereof the following is an 
exact copy : 

'"Pall Mall, Aprill% 1775. 
* " Madam, 

' " The evening before last I was not a little surprised at a 
deputation (as I take it) from the Council of our Academy, acquaint- 
ing me that you was most prodigiously displeased at my making a 
naked Academy figure in my picture of the * Conjurer,' now at the 
Royal Academy, representing your person. I immediately perceived 
that some busy meddler, to say no worse a name, had imposed this 
extravagant lie (of whose making God knows) upon your under- 
standing. To convince you, madam, that your figure in that composi- 
tion was the farthest from my thoughts, I now declare I never at any 
time saw your works but with the greatest pleasure, and that respect 
due to a lady whom I esteem as the first of her sex in painting, and 
amongst the loveliest of women in person. Envy and detraction must 
have worked strangely, for yesterday morning some more gentlemen 
from the Academy assured me that your uneasiness was very great. 
I assured them I would so far alter the figure that it would be 
impossible to suppose it to be a woman, though they cleared me of 
such a supposition themselves, as they understood it to be but a male 
figure, and that I would put a beard to it, or even dress it to satisfy 
you and them. I did myself the honour of calling at your house twice 
yesterday (when I had the misfortune not to meet you at home) 
purposely to convince you how much you have been imposed upon, as 
you will perceive when you see the picture yourself, and likewise to 
convince you with how much respect, 

'"lam, madam, 
' " Your most obedient and most humble servant, 

' " Nathaniel Hone. 
1 " To Mrs. Angelica Kauffmann." 

1 To which the day following this answer was returned : # 


' " I should have answered yours immediately, but I was 
engaged in business. I cannot conceive why several gentlemen, who 


never before deceived me, should conspire to do it at this time ; and 
if they themselves were deceived, you cannot wonder that others 
should be deceived also, and take for satire that which you say was 
not intended. I was actuated, not only by my particular feelings, but 
a respect for the arts and artists, and persuade myself you cannot 
think it a great sacrifice to remove a picture that had even raised sus- 
picion of disrespect to any person who never wished to offend you. 
" I am, sir, 

1 " Your humble servant, 

' " Angelica Kauffman. 
' " To Nathaniel Hone, Esq., 
Pall Mall." 

'Mr. Hone was exceedingly hurt to find the lady's prejudices were 
so strong that she was averse to being convinced, and would not trust 
her own senses to be undeceived. So forcibly had malice and detraction 
wrought the mischief that a whole city was to laugh at the imposition, 
whilst a party concerned was resolved to remain obstinate in error, 
and oppose the most condescending offer that could be thought of to 
break the spell that Mr. Hone's enemies ensnared her in. However, 
other motives worked the concluding part, though this was to be the 
ostensible reason for the extraordinary conduct of rejecting the works 
of an Academician honoured by his Majesty's sign-manual, and whose 
character had been hitherto unimpeached by the breath of slander 
during a residence in this capital of upwards of thirty years. 

' He was still in hopes that all ill-grounded prejudices would be 
dispersed ; but how was he disappointed in his prospects when, to his 
astonishment, he received the following letter from the Secretary of 
the Academy ! 

" Exhibition Room, Pall Mall, 
Tuesday evening, 9 o'clock. 

4 " I am directed to acquaint you that a ballot having been 
taken by the Council whether your picture called the 'Conjurer' 
should be admitted in the Exhibition, it was determined in the 

' " You are therefore desired to send for the picture as soon as it 
may be convenient. 

' " I am, sir, 
' " Your most obedient and most humble servant, 

' " F. M. Newton, R.A., Secretary. 
1 " Nathaniel Hone, Esq." 



1 He was now reduced to a dilemma, to acquiesce supinely under the 
heavy reproach of having offered a picture unfit for the public eye, 
and suffer the affront of his labours being rejected and his character 
traduced. What in such a case could he do ? but by appealing to the 
public, to whose candour and judgment he submits himself and his 
art, being sure that at that tribunal the mist will be dispelled, truth 
will be prevalent, and that his labours, which have for many years 
given satisfaction and pleasure to his employers, will not now be dis- 
approved of on a more general inspection by the indulgent public. 

'He trusts that this explanation, with the following affidavit, will 
prove, first, that the accusation was frivolous and nugatory, and that 
he is not in the least guilty of having given any real cause of offence 
to Mrs. Angelica Kauffmann ; and, secondly, that it will excuse the 
presumption of offering to the public an exhibition singly of his own 
labours : 

' "Middlesex to wit. 7, Nathaniel Hone, of the Royal .Academy, 
do make oath that in the picture of a ' Conjurer,' offered for exhibition 
to the said Academy for the present season, I never introduced, or intended 
to introduce, any figure reflecting on Mrs. Angelica Kauffmann, or any 
other lady whatever ; and I gave the most explicit declaration of this to 
Sir William Chambers and three other gentlemen of the Academy, who 
called at my house for the purpose of examining into that circumstance ; 
and I at the same time, told them the figure they pitched upon as giving 
offence should be taken out. 

' "Nath. Hone. 
' " Sworn before me this 2d day of May, 1775, 

' ' k W. Addington." 

1 N.B. The figure said to have been intended for Mrs. A. K. is not 
only taken out, but aJl the other naked figures, lest they should be 
said to be likenesses of any particular gentlemen or ladies, which Mr. 
Hone never meant, as the merit of the picture does not depend upon 
a few smoked Academy figures, or even those well-dressed gentlemen 
who supply the place of those figures which were said to be so in- 
decent, though Mr. Hone had shown the picture to ladies of the most 
refined taste and sentiment at his own house.' 

The following is a copy of Mr. Hone's advertise- 
ment, which appeared in several of the public 
papers : 



'Mr. Hone's exhibition of the " Conjurer" and one hundred other 
pictures and designs, all by his own hands, may be seen every day 
(Sunday excepted) opposite Old Slaughter's Coffee-house, the upper 
end of St. Martin's Lane, from ten in the morning till seven in the 
evening. Admittance one shilling. Catalogues, with Mr. Hone's 
apology to the public, gratis. 

' May 9th, 1775.' 

Hone's picture of a Brick-dust man, which was 
exhibited at Spring Gardens, first raised his name 
as a painter. In 1769 l he was elected a Royal 
Academician, but in consequence of some pique 
against Sir Joshua Reynold he became a turbulent 
member. He died at his house, now No. 44 in 
Rathbone Place, in his sixty-seventh year, and was 
buried August 20, 1784, at Hendon. Mr. Hone 
etched a portrait of the Rev. Mr. Greenaway, and 
engraved his own likeness in mezzotinto, as well 
as a large plate of Two Gentlemen in Masquerade 
(Captain Grose and Theos. Forrest), No. 17 in the 
catalogue of his works. This picture is now in 
the possession of Mrs. Graham, and hangs over 
the sideboard of her dining-room at her house on 
Clapham Common. 

In the sale of his effects in Rathbone Place was 
a plaster mask of King Charles II., taken from his 
face when dead. When his pictures were offered 
for sale at Mr. Hutchins's, in King Street, Co vent 
Garden, in March, 1785, 1 saw Sir Joshua Reynolds 
most attentively view the picture of the ' Conjurer * 
for full ten minutes. 

1 This is incorrect. Hone was a foundation member. Ed. 


Whenever Garrick's name was mentioned, it was 
generally accompanied with the appellation of 
little ; but I have often heard my father observe 
that he never knew anyone who spake of little 
Hogarth, though he was half a head shorter. Per- 
haps this appellation might have arisen from 
Garrick's appearing on the stage with tall men, 
such as Quin, Barry, Woodward, Eeddish, John 
Palmer, William Smith, Charles Bannister, Brere- 
ton, Lewis, etc. Dodd was a little man, and he 
was often called ' Little Dodd '; and Quick is now 
often noticed, when walking in Islington Fields, as 
1 Little Quick.' In like manner, Nollekens was 
called l Little Nolly ' by those who spake of him 
with freedom, and as ' Little Nollekens ' by 
strangers who knew nothing but his person ; and 
yet he was the only one of that name in England, 
though there are several bearing it in Antwerp to 
this day, some of whom have boldly declared their 
relationship to him. It has recently been proved 
that these pretended relatives are from a different 
stock and of another country. 

That great and good man, Flaxman, the ' Sculptor 
of Eternity,' as Blake styled him, was often called 
1 Little Flaxman, the sculptor,' though there was no 
other Flaxman a sculptor indeed, I was going to 
say, nor ever will be ; and if I had, my opinion 
surely could not possibly be called in question in 
less than^e hundred years. Hogarth has insisted 
upon it that Garrick, if seen alone, would have 
appeared as tall as Quin, on account of the former 
being a thin and neatly-made man, and the latter, 


though tall, an awkwardly large one. This asser- 
tion he has exemplified, as may be seen in an etching 
by F. Cook, from a sketch by himself, 1 entitled 
1 Facsimile of the proportions of Garrick and 

Hogarth's assertion as to this point is also most 
glaringly visible in J. Dixon's 2 engraving of Garrick 
in the character of Abel Drugger, from a picture 
by Zoffany, in which there is nothing to enable the 
observer to draw a comparison, as Garrick is the 
only object in the print. Now, the impression made 
upon the spectator is quite the contrary, when he is 
viewing him in the company of Subtle and Face, 
where a chair is also introduced, which, without 
any other auxiliary, acts as a tolerably good scale 
for the height of figures. 

For a further corroboration of this remark, the 
reader has only to look at the large print by J. 
Dixon, also after Zoffany's picture from the same 
play, in which Barton, Palmer, and Garrick form 
the composition, and, in consequence of Palmer's 
height, Garrick appears small. Garrick might have 
appeared as a large man if he had taken a hint 
from Zoffany, who has painted him in the ' Farmer's 
Return,' where he is seated in his kitchen, relating 
the sights he had witnessed in London, and particu- 
larly the story of the Cock Lane ghost, to his little 
wife and short children. In this beautiful picture 
Garrick is represented as a man of good height, as 

1 The original drawing was in the possession of the late J. P. 
Kemble, Esq. Smith. 

2 John Dixon (1740-1780), the mezzotint engraver. Ed. 


may be seen in J. G. Haid's 1 engraving from it, 
published by Boy dell, March 1, 1766. 

But I must not forget Nollekens in these 
ramblings ; he also appeared tall when warming 
his hands in the hall of the Royal Academy, sur- 
rounded by the young students, who were listening 
to his good-natured stories of what happened to him 
when at Rome. 

As he was once enjoying himself in this manner, 
Mrs. Malum, the housekeeper, applied to him for 
the poker, adding, c You always hide my poker. 
Why, you need not care how many coals we burn ; 
you don't buy them here.' 

So good-natured, indeed, was Mr. Nollekens 
during his conversations with the students, that his 
familiarity sometimes exposed him to the ridicule 
of those who knew not or forgot the respect which 
they ought to have entertained for him as an 
Academician. Once an impudent fellow brought 
an old brown worsted stocking, similar to one worn 
by the R.A. when he had a sore throat, which, to 
the great amusement of a few of his fellow-students, 
he tied round his neck, and stood by the side of 
Mr. Nollekens when he was Visitor in the Life 
Academy. However, it should be observed, to the 
honour of the well-disposed part of the students, 
that the ignorant scoffer was sent to Coventry, and 
for a twelvemonth three-fourths of them would not 
speak to him. 

1 Johann Gottfried Haid, a German engraver, who worked much in 
England, but retired to Wirtemberg before his death in 1776. Ed. 


I must acknowledge that at the time Mr. Carlini 1 
was Keeper, the Royal Academy students took 
those liberties with their superiors which would not 
be noticed now but by expulsion ; and it must give 
every well-thinking parent pleasure to know that 
their moral conduct was strictly noticed by the late 
worthy Keeper, Henry Thomson, Esq., R.A., 2 and 
that that gentleman's successor, William Hilton, 
Esq., R.A., will most assiduously promote the same 
rectitude o conduct. 

Mrs. Garrick visited the print -room of the British 
Museum on August 21, 1821, for the purpose of 
looking over the volume of Mr. Garrick's portraits, 
which had been collected by the late Dr. Burney. 
When she came to J . Dixon's print from Dance's pic- 
ture of her husband in the character of Richard III., 
now in the front drawing-room of Sir Watkin 
Williams Wynn's house, she looked at me, and 
with a firm emphasis whispered : l Ay, sir, Mr. 
Dance used me scurvily as to this picture ; it was to 
have been mine at one hundred guineas, and a place 
was cleared for it, when to my great astonishment 
he informed Mr. Garrick at our dinner-table, where 
he had been always welcome, that he could sell it 
for fifty or a hundred guineas more to Sir Watkin 
Williams Wynn. " Well, sir," observed Mr. Gar- 
rick, " and you mean to take it ?" " Yes," replied 

1 Agostino Carlini, R.A., the sculptor, succeeded Moser as keeper 
in 1783. See Prefatory Essay. Ed. 

2 The historical painter (1773 1843). He resigned the keepership 
in 1827 in consequence of ill-health. Hilton held the office till his 
death in 1839. Ed. 


Mr. Dance, for he was not then Sir Nathaniel, " I 
think I shall." 

c " Think no more of the picture," whispered Mr. 
Garrick to me ; " in a short time yon shall see a 
hetter one there " which was the case, though he 
meant the compliment to me, for the first morning 
after he had a looking-glass, to the value of one 
hundred and twenty-five guineas, put up in the 
place which had been allotted for Dance's picture. 
He requested me to go in and look at it, when he 
with his nsnal playfulness peeped over my shoulder. 
Sir Watkin, who never knew a word of Dance's 
ingratitude to Mr. Garrick who had introduced 
him to all his friends purchased the picture, and 
bestowed a most splendid frame upon it at an 
enormous expense.' 

Mr. Dance, in this picture of Garrick, has been 
guilty of an egregious anachronism. He has 
actually given Richard III. the star of the Order of 
the Garter, when he ought to have known that it 
was not introduced before the reign of King 
Charles I. 1 

1 See Ashmole's 'History of the Order of the Garter' ; Lond., 
1672, folio, chap, vii., pp. 215, 216. The origin of the Star, according 
to that authority, was a badge consisting of the cross of the Order, 
surrounded by the Garter, to be worn upon the left side of the 
ordinary cloaks, etc., of the Sovereign and Knights- Companions. This 
was added to the insignia by King Charles I. at a Chapter held 
April 27, in the second year of his reign, 1626. ' And,' adds Ashmole, 
' it seems it was not long after ere the glory, or star, as it is usually 
called, having certain beams of silver that spread in the form of a 
cross, was introduced and added thereunto, in imitation, as it is 
thought, of the French, who after that manner wore the chief ensign 
of the Order of the Holy Ghost, being the resemblance of a dove 


Mrs. Nollekens bad a little dog, which her father 
brought as a present to her from France ; it was 
considered a great beauty of its kind, being per- 
fectly white, having a long curled woolly mane, 
and its body half shorn from its hinder parts ; the 
extremities of its tail and legs were left tufted, like 
an heraldical lion, and the eyelids were rather of a 
red colour, as those of the French breed generally 
are. With this animal I formed a particular 
acquaintance ; and, as she was very good-tempered 
towards me, I used to lay out my pocket-money in 
buying alternately a pink and a blue ribbon to 
make her a collar, with which Mrs. Nollekens was 
highly delighted. I recollect Mr. George Keate 1 
whose politeness always procured him the good 
opinion of the ladies making much of this animal, 
and telling it that he had written some lines upon 
Mrs. Garrick's little dog, not unlike her in feature, 
of which Favorie for she went sometimes by that 
name ought to be very proud, since they were 
considered extremely beautiful. At this Mrs. 
Nollekens caught the bait, and in polite terms 
declared she would send for his poems, concluding 

irradiated with such-like beams.' The anachronism of introducing 
the Star of the Garter before it was invented has, however, been com- 
mitted by a much better antiquary than Dance, since it is introduced 
in the year 1578, in the romance of ' Kenilworth,' by the author of 
1 Waverley ' (edit Edinburgh, 1821, vol. i., chap, vii., p. 149). ' The 
embroidered strap, as thou callest it, around my knee,' says the Earl 
of Leicester, ' is the English Garter, an ornament which Kings are 
proud to wear. See, here is the Star which belongs to it, and here is the 
diamond George, the jewel of the Order.' Smith. 

1 George Keate (1729-1797), the amateur versifier and antiquary. 


that the lines were to he found there. ' Yes, madam, 
said he, c I have introduced them in the hook, and I 
will send it, not only for your inspection, but 
acceptance.' ' You are extremely polite,' answered 
Mrs. Nollekens ; ' I shall be most happy to possess 
what you have said of Mrs. Garrick's dog.' 

Before I entirely leave this subject, to prove the 
wonderfully sagacious and retentive memory of 
Mrs. Garrick's little dog Biddy, and how much she 
must have noticed her master when rehearsing his 
parts at home, I shall give the following most 
extraordinary anecdote, as nearly as I can, in the 
manner in which Mrs. Garrick related it to me a 
short time before her death. ' One evening, after 
Mr. Garrick and I were seated in our box at Drury 
Lane Theatre, he said, u Surely there is something 
wrong on the stage," and added he would go and 
see what it was. Shortly after this, when the 
curtain was drawn up, I saw a person come forward 
to speak a new prologue in the dress of a country 
bumpkin, whose features seemed new to me ; and 
whilst I was wondering who it could possibly be, I 
felt my little dog's tail wag, for he was seated in 
my lap, his usual place at the theatre, looking 
towards the stage. " Aha !" said I, " what ! do you 
know him ? Is it your master ? Then you have 
seen him practise his part ?" ' 

When I last had the gratification of conversing 
with the relator of this anecdote, she spake in the 
highest terms of his present Majesty, George IV., 
and said that the last time she had the honour of 
seeing him, when Prince of Wales, the kind and 


condescending: manner in which his Royal Highness 
sat by her side at Hampton, and asked after her 
health, gave her heartfelt pleasure : 4 And I am not 
a little proud,' added she, c of the privilege of being 
allowed to drive through St. James's Park.' 

Lieutenant-Colonel Phillips, whose venerable age 
is not beyond his politeness, has also favoured me 
with the following anecdote of the late Queen 
Charlotte and Mrs. Garrick. By some mistake the 
Queen was announced to Mrs. Garrick at her house 
at Hampton, without the usual notice previous to a 
royal visit. Mrs. Garrick was much confused at 
being caught in the act of peeling onions for 
pickling. The Queen, however, would not suffer 
her to stir, but commanded a knife to be brought, 
observing that she would peel an onion with her, 
and actually sat down, in the most condescending 
manner, and peeled onions. The Colonel, who 
often relates anecdotes of his youth and the dis- 
tinguished characters whom he has known, never 
forgets to observe, when speaking of Queen 
Charlotte : 8 Ay, very few persons knew the good- 
ness of her Majesty's heart, and the great good she 
had done, until after her death.' 

I shall now give a dialogue which was held, as 
nearly as I can recollect, between Mrs. Nollekens 
and Mrs. Norman, the wife of a celebrated dog- 
doctor, who at the time I was with Sherwin lived 
in Fox Court, St. James's Street, into one of the 
houses of which court Sherwin's premises ex- 
tended, and were used by him and his pupils as 
engraving-rooms. The name of Norman was so 


extensively known that I consider it hardly pos- 
sible for many of my readers to be ignorant of his 
fame ; indeed, so much was he in requisition that 
persons residing out of town would frequently 
order the carriage for no other purpose than to 
consult Dr. Norman as to the state of Biddy's 
health, just as people of rank now consult Parting- 
ton or Thompson as to the irregularities of their 
children's teeth. The room in which Sherwin's 
pupils were placed was on the first-floor, looking 
immediately into the court, so that it was impos- 
sible for them to be unacquainted with the patients' 
complaints, which were made known in the court 
either to the doctor or his wife, who always 
answered from an upper casement. Bijou, Mrs. 
Nollekens' favourite lap-dog, was put under the 
doctor's regimen by Nollekens, who, it appeared, 
had left her early one morning, before we had 
taken possession of our room. 

One day, about noon, we heard a female, who 
had tapped at the doctor's door with the stick of 
her parasol, inquire if Mr. Norman was at home. 
1 Who calls ?' interrogated Mrs. Norman from 
within. ' Mr. Norman, I ask if he lives here ?' 
Mrs. Norman, who had then put her head out 
at the window, answered : ' Yes, he does, good 
woman; what's your pleasure?' ' " Good woman, 
what's your pleasure !" is that the way to speak to 
a lady ? Know, then, my name is Nollekens.' c Oh 
dear, I beg your pardon: you are the person who 
sent a little man here with a French dog the other 
day : how does she do ?' ' Do ! why don't you 


come down, Mrs. Norman ?' ' I come down ! 
what, and leave all my dogs ! Bless yon, there'd 
be the devil to pay when Norman comes home ! 
Yon don't know the disponsibility I am in : why, 
we have got Mrs. Robinson's mother Mrs. Derby's 
dog ; and we have got the Dnke of Dorset's French 
lady's dog, Fidelle, just come from Duke Street. 
Mrs. Musters, of Portland Place, has sent three 
dogs, and we have Monsieur Goubert's from South 
Molton Street. What ! but is vour bitch ill a^ain? 
I am sure we brought it about it was fed upon 
nothing but bread and milk.' ' Bread and milk !' 
exclaimed Mrs. Nollekens ; J why, we give it some 
of the best bits of our yard-dog's paunches.' 
c Bless you, good woman ! then it will never be 
well : the doctor can do nothing for it, that I can 
tell you.' By this time a fellow silenced Mrs. 
Nollekens, by inquiring in a rough voice if Dr. 
Normandy was at home. c No,' was the reply. 
' Well, then, when he comes home, he must come 
to Lady Bunbury's ; one of her dogs has had 
no rest for these three nights, and her life is 
despaired of.' 

I do not wish to reflect upon Mrs. Nollekens or 
the peculiar attachment of any other lady to the 
brute creation, as there are, I am certain, tens of 
thousands who, though many of them pet their 
dogs, also find delight in walking miles to alleviate 
the wants of their fellow-creatures with the balmy 
hand of sincere benevolence. Mrs. RadclifFe, 1 the 
justly-celebrated authoress of ' The Romance of 

1 Anne Radcliffe (1764-1823). Ed. 


the Forest,' ' The Mysteries of Udolpho,' etc., was 
one of that description, and she had two pets. The 
name of one was Fan, that of the other Dash ; both 
obtained board and lodging, not as presents from 
Lady Sarah Bunbury or Mrs. Garrick, but taken 
up by her in the streets, when they were outcasts 
and unowned, when, as poor old Bronze would 
frequently say of her master's broken antiques, no 
one would think of offering a brass farthing for 
their services. 

Mrs. Radcliffe's attention was one day arrested 
by a boy who stood silently weeping under the 
gateway of the Little Stable-yard, St. James's ; he 
held a cord, to the end of which a most miserable 
spectacle of a dog was tied, shivering between him 
and the wall. She requested to know the cause of 
his grief, and the poor little fellow, after sobbing 
for some time, with a modest reluctance stam- 
mered, ' My m-m-m-mother insists upon my hang- 
ing Fan ; she won't keep her because her skin is 
bare. Don't touch her, ma'am ; she has got the 
mange.' ' Well, my little fellow, if you will walk 
back with me, I will not only give you half a 
crown, but will keep your dog, and you shall come 
and see it.' When the poor animal was safely 
lodged at No. 5, Stafford Row, Pimlico, her new 
mistress placed her under proper care ; and when 
she was again coated, she became excessively 
admired for her great beauty, and, being under the 
tuition of so amiable a protectress, she so improved 
in manners as to be often noticed by the la^e 
Queen and the Princesses, when walking with her 

DOGS 159 

mistress in Windsor Park, at the time Mrs. Rad- 
clifFe had a small cottage in the town. My 
informant related the following proof of Fan's good 
breeding and respect for a dog under superior 

One of the Princesses' dogs, a spaniel exactly of 
Fanny's size, caught one end of a long bone, at the 
moment Fan had found it, who, instead of snarl- 
ing as a dog generally does when an interloper 
attempts to carry off a prize, very good-temperedly 
complied with the playfulness of the Princess's dog- 
by continuing to walk by her side, just like two 
horses in a curricle, each holding the extreme end 
of the bone, to the no small amusement of the royal 
equestrians, who frequently recognised and noticed 
Mrs. RadclifFe as the authoress and Fanny's 

The other dog was of a large size, and the latter 
part of his history is as follows. One day it 
happened, as Mr. and Mrs. RadclifFe were walking 
along the Strand, to visit the exhibition of the 
Roval Academicians at Somerset Place, thev saw 
a poor half-starved dog that had just been drawn 
upon the pavement, a coach-wheel having broken 
one of its legs. When they got up to the crowd, 
as there was no master near or willing to own it, 
each person was giving his opinion as to the most 
expeditious mode of putting the unfortunate animal 
out of his misery. Upon this Mrs. RadclifFe, with 
her accustomed humanity, requested her husband 
to procure a coach ; and instead of proceeding to 
the exhibition to feast upon the works of art, they 


preferred following the impulse of good-nature, by 
ordering the coachman to Stafford Eow, where, by 
skilful attention, the once-wretched animal was not 
only in a short time restored to perfect health, but 
repaid his life-preserver with the most frolicksome 
agility, who ever after called him Dash. 

[ 161 ] 


Anecdotes of Seward and James Barry Conversations in West- 
minster Abbey on waxen figures, fees, alterations, monuments, and 
the Gate-house Norfolk House, the birthplace of George III. 
Mr. Nollekens' restoration of the Townley Venus Colonel 
Hamilton Conversation between Mr. Nollekens and Panton Betew 
on artists and the china manufactories at Bow and Chelsea 
Characteristic anecdotes of Betew Early engravings by Hogarth. 

Mr. Seward, 1 of anecdotic memory, who lodged at 
the Golden Ball, No. 5, Little Maddox Street, 
where the sign is still pendent, was perpetually 
complimenting those persons of eminence who 
appeared to him most likely to contribute to his 
budget. I recollect, when I was a student in the 
Royal Academy, seeing him one night make up 
to Barry, who was descending from the rostrum, 
and hearing him, after he had expressed his 
admiration of his lecture, solicit the pleasure of 
walking part of the way home with him. Mr. 
Nollekens and I overtook them at a baker's shop in 
Catherine Street, when Barry, who detested Seward 
for his avowed attachment to Fuseli, requested him 
to wait while he purchased a loaf, and when he 
came out, had the audacity to ask Seward to assist 

1 William Seward was born in 1747. He was the author of 'Bio- 
graphiana,' and died in 1799. Ed. 



him in stuffing it into a ragged pocket of his long 
great-coat. When he had accomplished the task, 
Barry exclaimed, ' It's in ! that's the way to be 
independent ; I have no fixed baker, so where I 
like the appearance of the bread, I buy it.' Nolle- 
kens, who had stopped with me to notice them, 
observed, ' Ay, Tom, when they get themselves 
under the Piazza, Jem will lose him ; I know his 
tricks well, when he dislikes a man. Why, 
do you know, that fellow Seward sadly wanted 
me the other day to give him my Michael 
Angelo model of Venus !" This beautiful little 
gem now sparkles over the chimney-piece of 
Sir Thomas Lawrence's front parlour, a room 
enviably rich in inestimable jewels. The cabinets 
are filled with the choicest drawings, by Michael 
Angelo, Kaffaelle, Rubens, and Rembrandt, many 
of which were formerly dispersed through the 
portfolios of King Charles I., Rubens, the Earl of 
Arundel, Sir Peter Lely, the two Richardsons, 
Hudson, Moser, Sir Joshua Reynolds, Barnard, 
Ralph AVillett, Udney, Earl Spencer, West, and 
several grand collections abroad, from which they 
were selected, and brought into this country by Mr. 
Ottley and Mr. Samuel Woodburn, two most ex- 
cellent judges of art, to whom England is much 
indebted for numerous works of the old and great 
masters, which might at this moment have been 
locked up in foreign cabinets, had it not been for 
their zeal and liberality. 

Mr. Nollekens having received an order for a 
monument, similar in size to one which his employer 


had pointed out, erected in AVestminster Abbey, 
asked my father to accompany him thither, and 
they took me with them to assist in the measure- 
ment. I recollect the morning with pleasure ; the 
sun enabled us to look into every corner of the 
Abbey ; and I now wish I had then been older, to 
have benefited more by the interesting remarks by 
my parent and friend. 

Mr. Nollekens, during the time his men were 
moulding parts of monuments in Westminster 
Abbey, had the following conversation with the 
late Mr. John Catling, the verger, to the great 
amusement of my father, who was also present. 
Mr. Nollekens: 'Why, Mr. Catling, you seem to 
be as fond of the Abbey as I am of my models by 
Michael Angelo. My man, Finny, tells me you was 
born in it.' Catling: 'No, not in the Abbey; I 
was born in the tower, on the right hand, just 
before you enter into the little cloisters.' Nollekens: 
4 Oh, I know ; there's some steps to go up, and a 
wooden rail to hold by. Now, I wonder you 
don't lose that silver thing that you carry before 
the Dean, when you are going through the cloisters. 
Pray, why do you suffer the schoolboys to chalk the 
stones all over ? I have been spelling " pudding," 
"grease," "lard," "butter," "kitchen-stuff," and 
I don't know what all.' Catling : ' Whv, therebv 
hangs a tale do you know that the Dean married 
a woman ?' Nollekens : l Well, so he ought ; the 
clergy are allowed to marry nowadays ; it is not 
as it was formerly ; you know, I have been at Rome, 
and know enough about their customs.' [Here Mr. 


Catling gave Mr. Nollekens an admonitory pinch 
upon the elbow, for at that moment the Bishop was 
passing through Poets' Corner from the Deanery, 
on his way to the House of Lords.] Nollekens: 
' What does he carry that bine bag with him for ?' 
Catling: 'It contains his papers upon the business 
of the day.' Nollekens : ' ( )h, now you talk of 
papers, Mrs. Nollekens bid me to ask you where 
Ashburnham House is, that held the Cotton paper, 
I think it was.' Catling: ' Your good lady means 
the Cottonian Manuscripts, sir ; it is in Little 
Dean's Yard, on the north side ; it has a stone 
entrance, designed by Inigo Jones, and is now 
inhabited by Dr. Bell, who was Chaplain to the 
Princess Amelia.' Nollekens: ; Oh, I know, he was 
robbed by Sixteen - string Jack in Gunnersbury 
Lane; thank ye. And she wants to know what 
you've done with the wooden figures, with wax 
masks, all in silk tatters, that the Westminster 
boys called the "Ragged Regiment"; she says 
they was always carried before the corpse for- 
merly.' Catling: ' Why, we had them all out the 
other day, for John Carter and young Smith ttf 
draw from ; they are put up in those very narrow 
closets, between our wax figures of Queen Elizabeth 
and Lord Chatham in his robes, in Bishop Islip's 
Chapel, where you have seen the stained-glass of 
a boy slipping down a tree, a slip of a tree, and the 
eye slipping out of its socket.' Nollekens : ' What ! 
where the Poll Parrot is ? I wonder you keep such 
stuff ; why, at Antwerp, where my father was born, 
they put such things in silks outside in the streets. 


I don't mind going to Mrs. Salmon's Waxwork, in 
Fleet Street, where Mother Shipton gives yon a kick 
as yon are going out. Oh dear ! yon should not have 
such rubbish in the Abbey ; and then for yon to take 
money for this foolish thing and that foolish thing, 
so that nobody can come in to see the line works of 
art without being bothered with Queen Catherine's 
bones, the Spanish Ambassador's coffin, the lady 
who died by pricking her finger, and that nasty 
cap of G.eneral Monk's you beg of people to put 
money into, just like the money-box that I recollect 
they used to put down from the Gate-house. You 
had better tell Mr. Dean to see that the monuments 
don't want dusting, and to look after the West- 
minster bovs, and not let them break the ornaments 
off to play at sconce with in the cloisters. Now, at 
Rome, and all other churches abroad, a man may 
<0 in and draw ; but here he must write and wait, 
and be brought up like a criminal before the Dean. 
Why, do you know, I have been told thajt Stothard, 
one of our Academicians, had a great deal of trouble 
with the man ; and then he talked about the proper 
fees ! Bless my heart, it's very bad I' 1 Catling : 
4 My good sir, you are very severe with us this 

1 When all the demands for viewing the various curiosities 
of Westminster Abbey are added together, the sum will amount 
to a little more now than it did lol years ago, as can be proved 
by a reference to Peachan's truly interesting tract, entitled ' The 
Worth of a Penny,' published in the year 1667, in which the author 
says : 

' For a penny you may hear a must eloquent oration upon our 
English kings and queens, if, keeping your hands off, you will seriously 
listen to David Owen, who keeps the monuments in Westminster.' 


morning. Let me ask vou what would become of 
the gentlemen of the choir, and myself, as well as 
the Dean, if we did not take money ?' Nollekens : 
4 What's become of that curious old picture that 
used to hang, when I was a boy, next to the 
pulpit ?' Catling : ' You mean the whole-length 
portrait of King Richard II. in his robes : that is 
now put up in the Jerusalem Chamber in the 
Deanery ; I have a print of it by Carter.' Nolle- 
kens : i My mother had one by Virtue ; she was 
acquainted with him, and at that time he lived in 
Brownlow Street, Drary Lane. Well, and what has 
become of Queen Catherine's bones ?' Catling : 
4 Oh, the remains of her bones have been gone 
long ago !' 

They were now interrupted by old Gayfere, the 
Abbey mason, who exclaimed, as he came toddling 
on : ' Ah, Mr. Nollekens, are you here ?' Nollekens : 
4 Here ! yes ; and why do you suffer that Queen 
Anne's altar to remain here, in a Gothic building ? 
Send it back to Whitehall, where it came from. 
And why don't you keep a better look-out, and not 
suffer the fingers of figures and the noses of busts 
to be knocked off by them Westminster boys ?' 
Gay/ere : ' Why, what an ungrateful little man you 
are ! Don't it give you a job now and then ? Did 
not Mr. Dolben have a new nose put upon Camden's 
face the other day at his own expense ? I believe 
I told you that I carried the rods when Fleetcraft 
measured the last work at the north tower when 
the Abbey was finished.' Nollekens : ' There's the 
bell tolling. Oh no, it's the quarters. I used to 


hear them when I was in the Abbey working with 
my master Scheemakers. There's a bird flying !' 
Gay/ere : ' A bird ? Ay, yon may see a hundred 
birds ; they come in at the broken panes of 

Nollekens : ' Here comes Mr. Champneys. Well, 
yon have been singing at St. Paul's, and now you 
are come to sing here. Why don't you put a little 
more powder in your wig ? Why, it is as brown as 
my maid Bronze's skin now is ; that's what is 
called a Busby, ain't it ?' Champneys : ' It is, Mr. 
Nollekens. Pray how is Mrs. Nollekens ? I was 
once a beau of hers.' Nollekens : 'Oh dear ! I was 
looking at his monument, to see if it was the same 
wig, but he has a cap on.' Champneys : c That's a 
fine monument, Mr. Nollekens.' Nollekens : c Yes, 
a very good one ; it was done by Bird. 1 Mrs. 
Nollekens said he was fond of flogging the West- 
minster boys.' Champneys : c It is said so. Our 
friend Boberts, of the Exchequer, has Busby's 
house at Ealing, where Busby's Walk still remains, 
on which the doctor used to exercise of a morning, 
to "wash his lungs," as he used to say.' Nollekens : 
1 What have you done with the old Gothic pulpit ?' 
Catling : ' It has been conveyed to our vestry, the 
Chapel of St. Blaize, south of Poets' Corner a 
very curious part of the Abbey, not often shown : 
did you ever see it ? It's very dark ; there is an 
ancient picture, on the east wall, of a figure, which 
can be made out tolerably well, after the eye is 

1 Francis Bird, called the founder of English sculpture. He was 
born in 1667, and died in 1731. Ed. 


accustomed to the dimness of the place. Did you 
ever notice the remaining colours of the curious 
little figure that was painted on the tomb of 
Chaucer?' Nollekens : 'No, that's not at all in 
my way.' c Pray, Mr. Nollekens,' asked Mr. 
Champneys, ' can you give me the name of the 
sculptor who executed the basso-relievo of Towns- 
end's monument ? I have applied to several of my 
friends among the artists, but I have never been 
able to obtain it : in my opinion, the composition 
and style of carving are admirable ; but I am sorry 
to find that some evil-minded person has stolen one 
of the heads.' Nollekens : c That's what I say. 
Dean Horsley should look after the monuments 
himself. Hang his waxworks ! Yes, I can tell you 
who did it Tom Carter had the job, and he 
employed another man of the name of Eckstein 1 
to model the tablet. It's very clever. I don't 
know what else he has done besides ; his brother 
kept a public-house, the sign of the Goat and Star, 
at the corner of Tash Court, Tash Street, Gray's 
Inn Lane. Bartholomew Chenev modelled and 
carved the figures of Fame and Britannia for 
Captain Cornwall's monument ; Sir Robert Taylor 
gave him four pounds fifteen shillings a week.' 

One afternoon, whilst I was drawing in the 
cloisters of Westminster Abbey, Mr. Gayfere ob- 
served that he had met Flaxman. ; Yes,' answered 

1 In 1762 the above artist, Mr. John Eckstein, received from the 
Society of Arts, for a basso-relievo in Portland stone, the premium of 
15 15s., and in 1764, for a basso-relievo in marble, the sum of 
52 10s. Smith. Eckstein was a painter as well as a modeller. He 
disappeared in 1798, being then about sixty years of age. Ed. 


I, ' he has just been so good as to point out to me 
those beautiful little figures that surround the tomb 
of Aymer de Valence, which he advises me to draw 
from.' Gay/ere : ' He is a very clever man, and bears 
a good character.' [I can safely venture to say that, 
had Mr. Gay fere been living now, he would have 
said he was a great man, and bore the best of 
characters.] Gayfere : ' Pray, did your father ever 
see a print or a drawing of the Gate-house Y 4 No, 
he never did ; I have often questioned him about it. 
I remember it, sir ; it stood, as you well know, 
across the street, at the end of the houses opposite 
to the west entrance of the Abbey ; one archway 
led into Tothill Street, and another, to the left, was 
opposite the entrance to Dean's Yard. I recollect 
walking under it with my grandmother, and seeing 
a tin box that was let down with a string for money 
out of one of the windows of the prison, and hear- 
ing a person in a hollow voice cry, " Pray remember 
the poor prisoners !" So I have at Old Newgate. 
That building stood across Newgate Street, near 
the south-east corner of St. Sepulchre's Church. 
Both these gates were not very unlike the old gate 
now remaining of St. John, Clerkenwell, in St. 
John's Lane, where Mr. Cave, the predecessor of 
the house of Nichols, first printed the Gentleman x 
Magazine? Gayfere : ' Did you ever hear the echo 
on the centre of Westminster Bridge ? If you 2:0 
to one of the middle alcoves, and speak in a whisper, 
putting your mouth close to the wall, to a friend on 
the opposite side, after he has placed his ear close to 
the centre ,of the other alcove, he will hear every 


syllable you utter as distinctly as he would if you 
had both been in the gallery of St. Paul's.' 

When ffoino- with Mr. Nollekens one Sunday 
morning to see Mr. Gainsborough's pictures, he 
stopped at the Duke of Norfolk's house in St. 
James's Square, and said, ' There ! in that very 
house our King was born ; my mother used to show 
it to me.' Recollecting this remark, I applied for 
confirmation of it to the Rev. James Dallaway, 1 
who had been the late Duke of Norfolk's chaplain, 
and, with his usual liberality, he immediately 
favoured me with the following very satisfactory 
information, which I now give in that gentleman's 
own words. ' Arundel House was taken down in 
1678, and its site converted into Norfolk, Surrey, 
Arundel, and Howard Streets, including what had 
been called Arundel Rents. The present Norfolk 
House, in St. James's Square, 2 was built from a 
design of R. Brettingham in 1742, by Thomas, Duke 

1 This gentleman has just completed a new edition of Walpole's 
1 Anecdotes of Painters,' in which, I trust, there are not only many of 
Lord Orford's errors corrected, but new information given of English 
artists, of whom his lordship appeared ignorant. There certainly is 
a more interesting account of Vandyke than any that has yet appeared. 
Smith. Dallaway was born in 1763, and died in 1834. Ed. 

2 It had been previously the site of St. Alban's House, built by 
Htnry Jernrvn, Earl of St. Albans, and was sold by Henry, Duke of 
Portland, for 10,000. In 1738 only the buildings on the north side 
of the inner court were completed, which were lent to Frederick, 
Prince of Wales, as a temporary residence till Leicester House was 
finished. On May 24, 1738, the late King George was born, and, 
being very sickly, was baptized the same day. He was a seven- 
months child. Prince Frederick presented the Duchess of Norfolk 
with miniatures in enamel of himself and the Princess, set in 
brilliants.' Smith. 


of Norfolk, and finished by his brother Edward 
in 176.' 

As we were turning round to proceed to Pall 
Mall, Mr. Charles Townley accosted Mr. Nollekens, 
who immediately, in the open street, loudly com- 
menced his observations in what he thought the 
Italian language ; but as he was very noisy in his 
jargon, Mr. Townley requested him to confine him- 
self to English, or the people in the street would 
notice them. Mr. Townlev then desired him to 
send for his small Venus, in order to model a pair 
of arms to it. That gentleman also wished him to 
try them in various positions, such as holding a 
dove, the beak of which might touch her lips, 
entwining a wreath, or looking at the eye of a 
serpent. Nollekens : l Well, I'll send for it, then ; 
shall you be at home when my man comes ?' 
Mr. Townley: 'Send to-morrow at ten o'clock, 
when I shall be at home.' Nollekens: 'Which way 
now are you going?' Mr. Townley: 'This way, 
Mr. Nollekens ; good-morning to you !' Nollekens 
called after him, ' Well, I'll send.' Strange to tell, 
I stood to Mr. Nollekens for all the various posi- 
tions he could devise for the arms, and after six 
changes the present ones were carved, the right 
one of which is too much like one of the arms of 
the Venus de Medici, which are looked upon as the 
work of Baccio Bandinelli. This statue is now in 
the British Museum, and measures three feet six 
inches and five-eights, including the plinth. A 
modern editor has roundly asserted that Gavin 
Hamilton directed Mr. Nollekens in his restora- 


tion of the arms of this statue. Gavin Hamilton 1 
was in Rome at the time. 

Upon our* arrival at Mr. Gainsborough's, the 
third west division of Schomberg House, Pall Mall, 
the artist was listening to a violin, and held up his 
finger to Mr. Nollekens as a request of silence. 
Colonel Hamilton was playing to him in so 
exquisite a style that Gainsborough exclaimed, 
' Now, my dear Colonel, if you will but go on, I 
will give you that picture of the boy at the stile, 
which you have so often wished to purchase of me.' 
Mr. Gainsborough, not knowing how long Nollekens 
would hold his tongue, gave him a book of sketches 
to choose two from, which he had promised him. 
As Gainsborough's versatile fancy was at this 
period devoted to music, his attention was so 
riveted to the tones of the violin that for nearly 
half an hour he was motionless ; after which the 
Colonel requested that a hackney-coach might be 
sent for, wherein he carried off the picture. It has 
been engraved by Stow, 2 a pupil of Woollett. Mr. 
Gainsborough, after he had given Mr. Nollekens 
the two drawings he had selected, requested him to 
look at the model of an ass's head which he had just 
made. Nollekeiis: 'You should model more with 

1 Gavin Hamilton, a Scotch portrait-painter, born at Lanark in 
1730, spent the greater part of his life in Rome, and was considered 
the leading authority on Roman antiquities. He died in that city in 
1797 of a fever caused by anxiety lest the French invaders should 
destroy his beloved monuments. Ed. 

2 James Stow, a line-engraver, the son of an agricultural labourer. 
His precocious promise led to his beiog largely patronized ; his talent, 
however, soon evaporated. He was apprenticed to Woollett, and then 
to W. Sharp. En. 


your thumbs ; thumb it about till you get it into 
shape.' ' What,' said Gainsborough, ' in this 
manner ?' having taken up a bit of clay, and 
looking at a picture of Abel's Pomeranian Dog 
which hung over the chimney-piece * this way ?' 
Yes,' said Nollekens ; ' you'll do a great deal more 
with your thumbs.' 

Mr. Gainsborough, by whom I was standing, 
observed to me : ' You enjoyed the music, my little 
fellow, and I am sure you long for this model ; 
there, I will give it to you ' and I am delighted 
with it still. I have never had it baked, fearing it 
might fly in the kiln, as the artist had not kneaded 
the clay well before he commenced working it, and 
I conclude that the model must still contain a 
quantity of fixed air. 

Colonel Hamilton above-mentioned was not only 
looked upon as one of the first amateur violin- 
players, but also one of the first gentlemen pugilists. 
I was afterwards noticed by him in my art as an 
etcher of landscapes ; and have frequently seen him 
spar with the famous Mendoza in his drawing-room 
in Leicester Street, Leicester Square. 

The following dialogue took place in Greenwood's 
auction-room, during the sale of Barnard's collec- 
tion of drawings, between Mr. Nollekens and 
Panton Betew. Mr. Betew had been a silversmith 
of the old school, and also a dealer in pictures, 
drawings, and other works of art. I recollect him 
well in my boyish days, at his house in Old 
Compton Street, Soho, at which time he was 
generally accosted by his old friends under the 


free-and-easy appellation of Fanny. Mr. Panton 
Betew : ' Well, Mr. Nollekens, time has made little 
difference in yonr looks ; you walk just in the same 
way, with your cane and your ruffles, as you did 
twenty years ago, when I sold you Roubiliac's 
model, which he designed for General Wolfe's 
monument ; Wilton was the successful candidate, 
he gained the order.' Nollekens : 4 1 remember it 
very well ; you would have the odd sixpence of me. 
Pray what became of that poor fellow, Chattelain, 1 
who used to work for Vivares ? I once saw several 
of his drawings in your window.' Betew : ' Yes, I 
bought many drawings of him ; and there's a great 
deal of spirit in what he did. But he died at the 
White Bear in Piccadillv ; the landlord came to 
me, knowing that I knew him, to ask me to attend 
his funeral. Poor fellow ! the parish buried him 
in the Pest Fields, Carnaby Market. I went, 
Vivares 2 went, and so did M'Ardell and several 
others. I recollect well, he was a Roman Catholic, 
and all the common people who frequented the 
Romish Chapel in Warwick Street followed ; and 
the bovs called it an Irish funeral, for there were 
very few of us in black coats.' Nollekens : ' Poor 
fellow ! I lost sight of him for some years, and 
could not tell what had become of him. I re- 
member a tallow-chandler used to lend me some of 
his drawings to copy when I was quite a youngster.' 

1 Jean Baptiste Claude Chatelaine (1710-1771). His real name was 
Philippe. Ed. 

2 Thomas Vivare?, the landscape engraver (1709-1780), a pupil of 
Chatelaine. Ed. 


Betew : ' Ay, I had many drawings and pictures by 
young artists, very clever fellows ; but they are 
nearly all gone now. There was Brooking, 1 the 
ship-painter : he died, poor fellow ! just as he was 
getting into full song, as the saying is ; and there 
was Tull, 2 the landscape-painter, he was a genius : 
he married the King's butcher's daughter, in St. 
James's Market, and became the schoolmaster at 
Queen Elizabeth's School in Tooley Street, in the 

c I have a few of his pictures by me now ; his 
style was an imitation of Hobbima's. Vivares has 
engraved four of them, and very pretty they are. 
His colouring was rather black ; but he was a self- 
taught artist, as people call those who don't 
regularly study under others, but pick up their 
information by degrees. Well, and then there was 
your great Mr. Gainsborough ; I have had many 
and many a drawing of his in my shop-window 
before he went to Bath. Ay, and he has often 
been glad to receive seven or eight shillings from 
me for what I have sold : Paul Sandby knows it 
well.' Nollekens : c What do you want for that 
model of a boy ? I suppose you have got it still ?' 
Betew : i Why, now, why can't you say Fiamingo's 
boy ? You know it to be one of his, and you also 
know that no man ever modelled boys better than 
he did : it is said that he was employed to model 
children for Rubens to put into his pictures.' 

1 Charles Brooking (1723-1759), who painted in the dockyard at 
Deptford. Ed. 

2 Nathaniel Tull, who died in 1762. Ed. 


Nollekens : ' Well, what must I give you for it ?' 
Betew : l Fifteen shillings is the money I want for 
it.' Nollekens : ' No ; ten.' Betew : ' Now, my old 
friend, how can you rate art in that manner ? You 
would not model one for twentv times ten ; and if 
you did, you could not think of comparing it with 
that. Why, vou are obliged to s^ive more at 
auctions when Lord Rockingham or Mr. Burke is 
standing by you. No, I will not 'bate a farthing.' 
Nollekens : ' Well, I'll take it. Do you still buy 
broken silver ? I have some odd sleeve-buttons, 
and Mrs. Nollekens wants to get rid of a chased 
watch-case by old Moser one that he made when 
lie used to model for the Bow manufactory.' 
Betew : ' Ay, I know there were many very clever 
things produced there. What very curious heads 
for canes they made at that manufactory ! I think 
Crowther was the proprietor's name ; he had a very 
beautiful daughter, who is married to Sir James 
Lake. Nat. Hone painted a portrait of her in the 
character of Diana, and it was one of his best 
pictures. There were some clever men who 
modelled for the Bow concern, and they produced 
several spirited figures : Quin in FalstafF ; Garrick 
in Richard ; Frederick, Duke of Cumberland, striding 
triumphantly over the Pretender, who is begging 
quarter of him ; John Wilkes, and so forth.' 
Nollekens : ' Mr. Moser, who was the keeper of 
our Academy, modelled several things for them. 
He was a chaser originally.' Betew : ' Bless you ! 
I knew him well. My friend Grignon, the watch- 
maker, in Russell Street, Covent Garden, advised 


him to learn to enamel trinkets for watches ; and 
he succeeded so well that the Queen patronized 
him, and he did several things for the King. It is 
said his Majesty was so pleased with him that he 
once ordered him a hatful of money for some of 
his works/ Nollekens : ' So I've heard.' Betew : 
4 Chelsea was another place for china.' Nollekens : 
c Do yon know where that factory stood ?' Betew : 
4 Why, it stood upon the site of Lord Dartery's 
house, just beyond the bridge.' Nollekens : i My 
father worked for them at one time.' Betew: 'Yes, 
and Sir James Thornhill designed for them. Mr. 
Walpole, at Strawberry Hill, has a dozen plates by 
Sir James, which he purchased at Mrs. Hogarth's 
sale in Leicester Square. Paul Ferg 1 painted for 
them. Ay, that was a curious failure. The 
cunning rogues produced very white and delicate 
ware ; but then they had their clay from China, 
which when the Chinese found out, they would not 
let the captains have any more clay for ballast, 
and the consequence was that the whole concern 

Many of my readers may recollect Fielding's 
descriptions of the Man of the Hill, in his l Tom 
Jones,' and such another human form Nature dis- 
played in Panton Betew : his dress differed from 
the general mode ; he wore a loose dark-brown 
greatcoat, with, generally, a red cloth waistcoat, 
black shalloon small-clothes, dark -gray w r orsted 

1 Francis Paul Ferg, an Austrian landscape-painter, born in Vienna 
in 1689. He came to London in 1718, and worked here until his death 
in 1740. Ed. 



stockings, easy square-toed shoes, with small silver 
buckles, and a large slouched hat with a close 
round crown, without the least nap, being often 
brushed, for cleanliness' sake, with the shoe, 
shining, or table brush. 

He was well known to all the fish-vendors in 
Lombard Court, Seven Dials, as a purchaser of fish 
for two ; which provender he was not ashamed to 
carry home in a dark snuff-coloured silk handker- 
chief, always taking care to hold it in his right 
hand, that he might display a brilliant ring, which 
he said he wore in memory of his mother. The 
watchman shut and opened his shop. I remember 
his leaving Old Compton Street for one of his 
mother's houses in Nassau Street, St. James's 
Market, and afterwards his living in a house in 
Chelsea, beyond what was formerly called the Five 
Fields : upon which a new city of most magnificent 
mansions is now in course of building, to the 
wonderful increase of the princely income of the 
Earl Grosvenor. 

In his house at Chelsea, where Betew died, my 
father and I have often visited him. Independently 
of his knowledge of the origin of the artists of 
the last century, he was a well-informed person 
upon the general topics of conversation ; and he 
has been heard to say that he liked to converse 
with a man whom he could swop an idea with. He 
was intimate with Hogarth, and frequently pur- 
chased pieces of plate with armorial bearings 
engraved upon them by that artist, which he cleared 
out for the next possessor ; but, unfortunately for 


the Stanleyean Collection, without rubbing off a 
single impression. 

This was not the case with Morison, a silver- 
smith, who at that time lived in Cheapside ; he took 
off twenty-five impressions of a large silver dish, 
engraved by Hogarth, which impressions he not 
only numbered as they were taken off, but attested 
each with his own signature. Should this page 
meet the eyes of any branches of the good old- 
fashioned families which have carefully preserved 
the plate of Oliver their uncle or Deborah their 
aunt, I sincerely implore them, should the armorial 
bearings be the production of the early part of 
the last century, to cause a few impressions to be 
taken from them ; for I am inclined to believe 
it very possible that some curious specimens of 
Hogarth's dawning genius may yet in that way be 
rescued from future furnaces. 

The following use was made of Hogarth's plates 
of the Idle and Industrious Apprentices, by the 
late John Adams, of Edmonton, schoolmaster : The 
prints were framed and hung up in the schoolroom, 
and Adams, once a month, after reading a lecture 
upon their vicious and virtuous examples, rewarded 
those boys who had conducted themselves well, and 
caned those who had behaved ill. 

[ i8o] 


Mr. Nollekens' opinion of colossal sculpture Restorations of the 
paintings at Whitehall Increase of the value of modern pictures 
Remarkable old houses and customs Mrs. Nollekens' visits 
Ireland's 'Yortigern' London cries Sir Peter Lely's sale Nolle- 
kens at the Academy Club and at Harrogate His Venus model 
Meanness of Mrs. Nollekens Miss Hawkins and her anecdotes. 

Nollekens at all times strongly reprobated colossal 
sculpture, more especially when commenced by the 
too daring student in the art ; and, indeed, when- 
ever anyone led to the subject, he would deliver 
his opinion, even to persons of the first fashion 
and rank, with as much freedom as if he were 
chiding his mason's boy, Kit Finny, for buying" 
scanty paunches for his yard-dog Cerberus. ' No, 
no, my lord !' he would vociferate, with an in- 
creased nasal and monotonous tone of voice, ' a 
grand thing don't depend upon the size, I can assure 
you of that. A large model certainly produces a 
stare, and is often admired by ignorant people ; 
but the excellence of a work of art has nothing to 
do with the size, that you may depend upon from 
me.' In this he unquestionably was correct, as 
the graceful elegance of a Cellini cup or a bell for 



the Pope's table does not consist in immensity. I 
have a cast from an antique bronze figure only 
three inches in height, which, from its justness 
of proportion and dignity of attitude, strikes the 
beholder, when it is elevated only nine inches above 
his eye, with an idea of its being a figure full thirty 
feet in height. 

I well recollect my playfellow, John Deare, 1 the 
sculptor, powerfully maintaining that grandeur 
never depended upon magnitude. A preposterously 
large figure, like Gog or Magog in Guildhall, or the 
giant and giantess of Antwerp, would, without 
dignity and breadth of style and just proportion, 
exhibit nothing beyond a mass of overwhelming 
lumber. ' What !' he would exclaim, 4 is not that 
beautiful gem of Hercules strangling the lion a 
work of grand art ? and that figure is contained 
in less than the space of an inch.' This is also my 
own humble opinion, for I think that Simon's 2 
Dunbar medals, of which I have now some most 
beautiful casts before me, are quite as grand as 
any of the finest busts by Nollekens. I am quite 
certain that if a talented medallist were to execute 
a series of heads from the finest of Nollekens' busts 
of persons of the highest eminence, his labours 
wou,ld meet with great encouragement ; but he 
must honestly copy, and not attempt even the 
slightest alteration, for by such sophistications he 

1 This very remarkable man was born at Liverpool in 1759, and 
died at Rome in 1795. See prefatory essay. Ed. 

2 Thomas Simon, chief medallist at the Mint to Charles I., Crom- 
well, and Charles II. He was an artist of admirable merit. Ed. 


would make a botched medal, for which he never 
should, if I had my wish, receive more than the 
weight of the metal. Many of Chantry's finest 
busts have been in this manner most disgracefully 
misrepresented. That a figure should be of in- 
creased dimensions the higher it is placed above 
the eye of the spectator is beyond a doubt, since 
if it were only the size of life it would dwindle into 
insignificance, particularly if placed on the top of 
the monument on Fish Street Hill ; for that pillar 
being 202 feet in height, it would require a statue 
of full 14 feet. The figures of the Apostles sculp- 
tured by Bird on the top of St. Paul's are more 
than twice the height of a man ; but what appeared 
most astonishing to me when a boy was the enormous 
magnitude of the figures surrounding the apotheosis 
of King James I., painted upon the ceiling of White- 
hall by Rubens. 

My father being intimately acquainted with 
Cipriani, took me up to the scaffold when that 
artist was repairing the picture, and to our great 
astonishment they measured the enormous height 
of 9 feet. This appears hardly credible, as they 
look no larger than life when viewed from the 
floor. Upon an investigation, in consequence of 
a report that there was a very fine copy of this 
work of Rubens as a fixture in a house on the 
south side of Leicester Fields, I found that the 
curiously ornamented papier-mache parlour ceiling 
of No. 41 had been painted, though very indiffer- 
ently, by some persons who had borrowed groups 
of figures from several of Rubens' designs, which 


they had unskilfully combined. This ceiling is 
divided into three compartments ; in the centre 
one there is a figure with a head resembling King 
Charles I., and in that at the south end of the room 
is another of King James I., evidently painted from 
recollection, as it is so ill done, of that of the same 
sovereign at Whitehall. I consider this visit, how- 
ever, as well bestowed, since it may possibly, in 
some measure, set at rest the assertion so roundly 
and fallaciously propagated, should the premises 
ever be destroyed, and the loss of the ceiling be 
deplored by those who had never seen it. Cipriani 
excelled as a draughtsman ; his style of colouring 
in oil-pictures was rather cold, and sometimes hard, 
particularly when compared with the luxuriantly 
sunny glow of Eubens' pictures. However, it was 
a very profitable employment for him, as it is said 
he had 1,000 for repairing it, and an enormous 
sum for retouching it only. I verily believe he 
must have repainted it wholesale, or such an 
amount would never have been sanctioned by the 
officers in whom payment was invested. I am 
quite certain such a charge would be closely looked 
into at present. 

It is a curious fact that though this ceiling of 
Whitehall is so grand in its design, and is, indeed, 
I believe, the only work of such magnitude from 
the mind of Rubens in England, few people, com- 
paratively with the tens of thousands who pass the 
building daily, know anything about it. However, 
I consider it but fair for the high reputation of 
Rubens as a colourist to state that this picture has 


been restored, repainted, and refreshed not fewer than 
three times. 

In the reign of King James II., 1687, Parry 
Walton, a painter of still life, and Keeper of the 
Kind's Pictures, was suffered to retouch this orand 
work of art, which then had been painted only sixty 
years, as appears by the Privy Council book, in 
which Mr. Parry Walton's demand of 212 for 
its complete restoration was considered by Sir 
Christopher Wren c as very modest and reasonable.' 
Mr. Cipriani, as above stated, repainted it a second 
time ; and last of all, Rigaud was employed to 
refresh it. 

There is a most excellent engraving of this 
ceiling, in three sheets, by Gribelin, the same artist 
who executed that pretty set of prints from the 
Cartoons, by Raffaelle, at Hampton Court. This 
design of Rubens for, as it has been so often 
cleaned and painted upon, there can be but little 
of his colouring visible at this moment would still 
afford employment to the living ; at least, to the 
novelist, who might, by stating all its multifarious 
vicissitudes under Follv's innovations, render it a 
subject for a work fully as entertaining and equally 
lucrative as 'The History of a Guinea,' 'A Shilling,' 
or ' A Gold-headed Cane.' 

For instance, let us suppose Rubens, shocked at 
the contaminated effect of his own canvas, peti- 
tioning his great and liberal patron, Charles I., to 
invoke St. Luke to leave his easel, and to order an 
investigation into the conduct of the Surveyors- 
General, commencing with Sir Christopher Wren, 


and proceeding with others of the craft who have 
flourished from his time to the late reign, in order, 
if possible, to discover how they could ever have 
sanctioned so barefaced a change. This inquiry 
should be wholly confined to the honour of Rubens' 
pencil, and in no degree whatsoever as to the orders 
given for the barbarously smearing or refreshing, 
as Eigaud termed it, of the lively portraiture of King- 
James I., a monarch whom no one could possibly 
think of sending to heaven for his patronage of the 
fine arts ; nor would St. Luke be willing to intro- 
duce him there, though that saint, according to 
Spence's anecdote, had some influence with St. 
Peter when Sir Godfrey Kneller was admitted. 

The umpires ought to consist of Sir Peter Paul's 
seven brother knights of the pallet, who have 
practised from the reign of the above monarch to 
the present day, viz., Sir Anthony Vandyke, Sir 
Peter Lely, Sir Godfrey Kneller, Sir James Thorn- 
hill, Sir Joshua Reynolds, Sir William Beechey, 
and, lastly, Sir Thomas Lawrence, who, like 
Rubens, was honoured with a gold chain from the 
hand of a King of England. By such chronological 
arrangement, and as the four first-named gentlemen 
must, beyond a reprieve, agree to the execution of 
the culprits, the latter three would not be under 
the necessity of signing for the rope for two of the 
scrubbers and smudgers. As several of those 
fraternities which are now fitly nicknamed ' painters 
and glaziers ' so impudently recommend old pictures 
that have been thus ' restored,' ' repainted,' and 're- 

freshed ' as the onlv things worth v the attention of 


the man of fortune, I have great pleasure in record- 
ing the triumph lately obtained over them in the 
sale of Lord de Tabley's pictures by modern Eng- 
lish artists, which actually produced twenty-five 
per cent, more than they cost his lordship, though 
they were purchased of the artists at what they 
considered most liberal prices. On this occasion 
the pretenders alluded to were severely exposed by 
Mr. Christie. Mr. Nollekens also died possessed of 
three pictures by an English artist, Eichard Wilson, 
which cost his father-in-law, Mr. Welch, only about 
a tenth part of the sum the said Mr. Christie sold 
them for. 

One spring morning, as I was passing through 
Covent Garden, I was accosted by Mrs. Elizabeth 
Carter, who had accompanied Mrs. Nollekens 
thither for the purpose of purchasing some roots 
of dandelion, an infusion of which had been strongly 
recommended to her husband by Dr. Jebb. Twigg, 
the fruiterer, to whom Mr. Justice Welch, during 
his magistracy, had often been kind, was at all 
times gratefully attentive to Miss Welch and her 
sister, Mrs. Nollekens. He procured the roots she 
wanted from that class of people called 4 simplers,' 
who sit in the centre of the Garden. The fruiterer 
was a talkative man, and was called by some of his 
jocular friends the ' Twig of the Garden'; he had 
been cook at the Shakespeare Tavern, and knew all 
the wits and eccentric characters of his early days. 

Mrs. Carter, though she was seldom fond of 
noticing strangers, fell by degrees into a conver- 
sation with Twigg, and asked him which house it 


was in Tavistock Row that Miss Wray, who was 
shot by the Rev. James Hackman, occupied before 
she resided with Lord Sandwich ; to which he 
replied : c It was that on the south-west corner of 
Tavistock Court, next to the one in which the 
famous William Vandevelde, the marine-painter, 
died.' 1 This corner house, No. 4, is now occupied 
by a tailor ; and that in which Vandevelde lived, 
now No. 5, is inhabited by Irish Johnstone, as he 
is usually called, that once delightful singer and 
excellent actor of the characters of Irishmen. 
' Pray,' continued the lady, ' which was Zincke's, 2 
the celebrated enameller's ?' ' Why, ma'am,' said 
he, 4 it is No. 13, that in which Mr. Nathaniel 
Dance, the painter, afterwards lived. Meyer, 
another famous miniature-painter, resided in it, and 
the garrets are now occupied by Peter Pindar 
(Dr. Wolcot). I recollect, ma'am,' continued the 
fruiterer, ' old Joe, who was the first person who 
sold flowers in this Garden ; his stand was at that 
corner within the enclosure, then called Primrose 
Hill, opposite to Low's Hotel. This spot was so 
named in consequence of its being the station of 
those persons who brought primroses to the Garden. 
Low had been a hairdresser in Tavistock Street 
before he took that large house, which he estab- 
lished as a family hotel, the earliest of that de- 
scription in London, where he distributed medals, 
which procured him many lodgers.' 

1 On April 6, 1707. Ed. 

2 Christian Friedrich Zincke (1684-1767), cabinet - painter to 
Frederick, Prince of Wales. Ed. 


Mrs. Nollekens then requested to know which 
house it was in James Street where her father's 
old friend, Mr. Charles Grignon, resided, the 
engraver so extensively and for so many years 
employed upon the designs of Gravelot, Hayman, 
and Wale. ' No. 27,' said Twigg ; ' I recollect 
the old house when it was a shop inhabited by 
two old Frenchwomen, who came over here to 
chew paper for the papier-mache people.' Mrs. 
Nollekens : ' Eidiculous ! I think Mr. Nollekens 
once told me that the elder Wilton, Lady Chambers' 
grandfather, was the person who employed people 
from France to work in the papier-mache manu- 
factory which he established in Edward Street, 
Cavendish Square.' Twigg : ' I can assure you, 
ma'am, these women bought the paper-cuttings 
from the stationers and bookbinders and produced 
it in that way, in order to keep it a secret, before 
they used our machine for mashing it.' Mrs. Carter : 
I recollect, sir, when Mr. Garrick acted, hackney- 
chairs were then so numerous that they stood all 
round the Piazzas, down Southampton Street, and 
extended more than half-way along Maiden Lane, 
so much were they in requisition at that time.' 
Twigg : Then I suppose, ma'am, you also recollect 
the shoeblacks at every corner of the streets, whose 
cry was "Black your shoes, your honour ?" ' Yes, 
sir, perfectly well ; and the clergyman of your 
parish walking about and visiting the fruit-shops in 
the Garden in his canonicals. And I likewise re- 
member a very portly woman sitting at her fruit- 
stall in a dress of lace, which it was said cost at 


least one hundred guineas, though a greater sum 
was often mentioned.' 

Here this dialogue about old times ended, by the 
entrance of several other customers, upon which 
Mrs. Carter and Mrs. Nollekens left the shop to 
pay a morning visit to Mrs. Garrick, and I made 
my bow. 

Mr. Nollekens' uncultivated manners were at 
times so truly disagreeable to his sister-in-law, 
Miss Welch whose talents were highly appreciated 
by the literati of the day that whenever she re- 
ceived her friends at a card-party he was seldom 
invited; but Mrs. Nollekens, whom her sister was 
very fond of showing off, always attended them. 
To please her economical husband she would appear 
to acquiesce in his opinion, that her shape was better 
shown by a close simple dress ; for, in doing this, she 
could save a shilling in coach-hire, by going early 
in a plain gown, time enough to dress at her sister's, 
where she had by slow degrees conveyed various 
articles of finery, until she had lodged a pretty 
good wardrobe in one of the spare upper closets. 
Upon entering the drawing-room close behind those 
who had last knocked, her name was announced as 
if just arrived, and she has been seen to make as 
formal a curtsey to her sister as to the rest of the 

At these ceremonious card-parties Mrs. Nolle- 
kens, who, the reader will recollect, played the 
strict Hoyle game, would remain till she found 
herself in possession of more than she sat down 
with, and then inquired if her servant were below. 


Poor Bronze then attended her to the upper 
chamber, where, after changing her dress, she 
remained in her camlet- cloak till the whole of the 
visitors were gone, and then the foot which had been 
that evening graced with a silver- spangled slipper 
was pressed into a wooden clog. Thus equipped, 
Mrs. Nollekens, on leaving the house, placed her 
delicately-formed arm upon that of her faithful 
servant, whose swarthy hue her mistress could 
scarcely by daylight bear to look upon, but upon 
these occasions she condescended to rest upon her 
with perfect confidence. 

Nollekens was at times so ridiculously soft that, 
in several instances, he approached what was 
formerly called the 'Colley-Molley' class of beings 
men who were fond of lacing the stays and carry- 
ing the fans or pattens of their spouses, whose 
character is so admirably portrayed by Foote in 
his 'Jerry Sneak.' In the exercise of some of his 
accommodating attentions to the will of his fair 
partner, his good-natured weakness exposed him to 
the notice of a friend, who was induced to watch 
him one night in Bloom sbury Square dangling a 
lantern in attendance upon his wife and her sister 
Miss Welch, on their economical pedestrian return 
home from a formal cribbage-party. 

Nollekens, anxious to get home to bed, was 
generally foremost, and often proceeded, though 
with a toddling gait, so much too fast for the 
clogged ladies behind him that Mrs. Nollekens 
was often heard to cry, c Stop, sir, pray stop !' but 
Miss Welch of late years seldom spoke to him. 


He would then with clue obedience slacken his pace 
into a dawdling creep, suffer them to pass, and lag 
so considerably behind that he was now and then 
openly and roundly charged with indulging in a nap. 
Upon these occasions they thought it wisest to wait 
his coming up with the lantern, upon pretence of 
seeing that all the umbrellas were safe under his 
arm ; but in reality for fear of a rude embrace 
from some boisterous perambulator of the streets, 
under the influence of Bacchus or Thrale's Entire ; 
and whenever there was a wide puddle to cross, 
Mrs. Nollekens always made a point of seeing 
her husband safe over first, by insisting upon 
his maintaining a proper precedence on such 

Samuel Ireland 1 had entreated Mrs. Nollekens to 
persuade her husband to go to the representation of 
what he called Shakespeare's play of ' Vortigern '; 
and when he informed her that my father and I 
were going, she acquiesced, fully relying upon our 
taking care of him. The crowds which had 
assembled at the doors of Drury Lane Theatre 
long before the hours of admission were immense, 
and the anxiety of Ireland for the success of the 
play was so great that he caused a hand-bill to be 
printed and thrown crumpled up by hundreds among 
the people ; and as that bill is now esteemed rather 
a rare theatrical relic, the reader is presented with 
a copy of one which fell to my lot. 

1 Samuel William Henry Ireland, who wrote the spurious tragedy 
of 'Vortigern' (1777-1835). He was the son of another Samuel 
Ireland (1750-1800), the author of 'Picturesque Tours.' Ed. 



4 A malevolent and impotent attack on the Shakspeare MSS. having 
appeared on the eve of representation of the play of " Vortigern," 
evidently intended to injure the interest of the proprietor of the 
MSS., Mr. Ireland feels it impossible, within the short space of time 
that intervenes between the publishing and the representation, to 
produce an answer to the most illiberal and unfounded assertions in 
Mr. Malone's inquiry. He is therefore induced to request that the 
play of " Vortigern " may be heard with that candour that has ever 
distinguished a British audience. 

t #^# The play is now at the press, and will in a very few days be 
laid before the public' 

After great patience and much crowding we 
moved in, and, when safely seated in the pit, con- 
gratulated ourselves upon the possession of our 
shoes ; whilst Mr. Nollekens recognised Miles 
Petit Andrews, Flaxman, and several others whom 
he knew. The play went on pretty well until 
Kemble appeared, when the noise of disapprobation 
commenced, and being considered by the audience 
as an atrocious fraud, it was at length completely 

Frequently when Mr. Nollekens has been model- 
ling, he has imitated the cries of the itinerant 
venders as they were passing by. I recollect the 
cries of two men pleasing him so extravagantly 
that he has continued to hum their notes for days 
together, even when he has been engaged with his 
sitters, measurino; the stone in the vard for a bust 
or a figure, feeding the dog, putting up the bar 
of the gate, or improving the attitudes of his 

The late Dr., Kitchener, whose musical powers 
were so very generally acknowledged, kindly 



condescended to note down the following music of 
these cries, from my recollection, whereby I am 
enabled to gratify the reader with the very sound 
itself. 1 


Buy a Bowl, Dish, or a Platter ; come buy my Wood-en Ware. 






Buy an Al - ma-nack, a Sheet Al-ma-nack, or a Book Al-ma-nack. 

M,f H^t 


In a copy of Hawkins' ' History of Music,' in 
the British Museum, at page 75 in the fifth volume, 
there is the following manuscript note respecting 
the famous Tom Britton, the musical small-coal 
man. 2 l The goodness of his ear directed him to 

1 During the last nine years Dr. Kitchiner wrote the following 
works : ' Economy of the Eyes ' (Part I., ' Of Spectacles ' ; Part II., 
! Of Telescopes '), ' The Cook's Oracle,' l Art of Invigorating Life,' 
' Observations on Singing/ ' National Songs of England,' l Life and 
Sea-Songs of Dibdin,' ' Housekeeper's Ledger,' ' Century of Surgeons,' 
4 Traveller's Oracle.' The Doctor composed and selected the music of 
the opera of 'Ivanhoe' for Covent Garden Theatre, composed the 
whole of the music for 'Love among the Roses,' for the English 
Opera, Fifty English Ballads,' ' An Universal Prayer,' ' The Hymn 
of Faith,' ' The English Grace,' and ' The Lord's Prayer.' Number 
sold, 55,250 volumes. Smith. Dr. William Kitchiner, born in 1775, 
died 1827. Ed. 

2 Born 1654, died 1714. Ed. 



the use of the most perfect of all musical intervals, 
the diapason or octave, his cry being, as some 
relate that remember it : 

Small Coal. 

The public have frequently been amused at the 
theatres by actors who have mimicked the cries of 
London. I remember hearing Baddeley whine the 
cry of ' Periwinkles, a wine-quart a penny, peri- 
winkles. Come buy my shrimps, come buy my 
shrimps ; a crab, will you buy a crab ?' I have 
also heard that excellent comedian John Bannister 

1 Come, neighbours, see and buy ; here's 
Your long and strong scarlet ware ; 
Scarlet garters twopence a pair, 
Twopence a pair ! twopence a pair !' 

Upon my mentioning this to Mr. Bannister, he 
did not immediately recollect it ; though in a few 
moments he said : c You are right, and it was at the 
Little Theatre in the Haymarket. Did you ever, 
my good fellow, hear of Ned Shuter's imitations of 
the London cries ? He was the most famous chap 
at that' sort of thing ; indeed, so fond of it that he 
would frequently follow people for hours together 
to get their cries correctly. I recollect a story 
which he used to tell of his following a man who 
had a peculiar cry, up one street and down another, 
nearly a whole day to get his cry, but the man 
never once cried ; at last, being quite out of temper, 
he went up to the fellow, and said, " You don't 


cry ; why the devil don't you cry ?" The man 
answered in a piteous tone, " Cry ! Lord bless your 
heart, sir, I can't cry ; my vifes dead ; she died 
this morning." ' 

Besides the musical cries mentioned above about 
sixty years back, there were also two others yet 
more singular, which, however, were probably 
better known in the villages round London than in 
the Metropolis itself. The first of these was used 
by an itinerant dealer in corks, sometimes called 
Old Corks, who rode upon an ass, and carried his 
wares in panniers on each side of him. He sat with 
much dignity, and wore upon his head a velvet cap ; 
and his attractive cry, which was partly spoken and 
partly sung, but all in metre, was something like 
the following fragment : 

Spoken. * Corks for sack 

I have at my back ; 
Sung. All bandy, all handy ; 

Some for wine and some for brandy. 
Spoken. Corks for cholic- water, 

Cut 'em a little shorter ; 

Corks for gin, 

Very thin ; 

Corks for rum, 

As big as my thumb ; 

Corks for ale, 

Long and pale ; 
Sung. They're all handy, all handy, 

Some for wine and some for brandy.' 

The other cry, which was much more musical, 
was that of two persons, father and son, who sold 
lines. The father, in a strong, clear tenor, would 
begin the strain in the major key, and when he had 


finished, his son, who followed at a short distance 
behind him, in a shrill falsetto, would repeat it in 
the minor, and their call consisted of the following 
words : 

' Buy a white-line, 
Or a jack-line, 
Or a clock-line, 
Or a hair-line, 

Or a line for your clothes here.' 

In order to render this little work a book of 
reference to the London topographer as well as to 
the historian, I have occasionally given, and shall 
continue to give, the residences of persons of 
notoriety, as well as their places of birth, death, 
and burial points which, I am sorry to say, are 
not always attended to by biographers. 

The house in Great Queen Street, now divided 
into two, Nos. 55 and 56, was that in which Hudson 
lived ; it was afterwards the last habitation of Wor- 
lidge, 1 the etcher, who died in it. Hoole, the trans- 
lator of Tasso, and the beloved friend of Dr. 
Johnson, next resided in it, and he was succeeded 
by Eichard Brinsley Sheridan, who, after Garrick's 
funeral, passed there the remainder of the day in 
silence with a few select friends. It was lately 
inhabited by Mr. Chippendale. 2 This house is one 
of those built after a design of Inigo Jones, and 
still retains much of its original architecture. 

The street was named Queen Street in compli- 
ment to Henrietta Maria. ' My old friend,' Mr. 

1 Thomas Worlidge (1700-1766), called ' Scritch-scratch,' an imitator 
of Rembrandt. Ed. 

2 Thomas Chippendale, the famous cabinet-maker. Ed. 


Batridge, the barber, as Mr. Hone in his ' Every- 
day Book ' has been pleased to called him, in- 
formed me that he very well recollected the gate- 
entrance into Great Queen Street from Drury Lane. 
It was under a house, and was so long and dark 
that it received the fearful appellation of ' Hell 
Gate.' Through this gate the Dukes of Newcastle 
and Ancaster drove to their houses in Lincoln's Inn 
Fields, at that time the seat of fashion ; which can 
readily be conceived, when the reader recollects 
that Grosvenor Square was building when Mr. 
Nollekens was a little boy. 

Co vent Garden was the first square inhabited by 
the great ; for immediately upon the completion of 
the houses on the north and east sides of Covent 
Garden, which were all that were uniformly built 
after the design of Inigo Jones, they were every one 
of them inhabited by persons of the first title and 
rank, as appears by the parish books of the rates at 
that time. 

The chambers occupied by Richard Wilson were 
portions of the house successively inhabited by Sir 
Peter Lely, Sir Godfrey Kneller, and Sir James 
Thornhill ; and, by way of rather a curious treat 
to the connoisseur, I shall insert the advertisement 
for the sale of Sir Peter Lely's collection of works 
of art, which I copied from the London Gazette of 
February 16, 1687 : 

' Upon Mod day, in Easter-week, will be exposed by Public Auction 
a most curious and valuable collection of Drawings and Prints, made 
with great expense and care by Sir Peter Lely, Painter to his Majesty. 
The Drawings are all of the most eminent Masters of Italy, being 


originals and most curiously preserved. The Prints are all the works 
of Mark Antoine, after Raphael, and the other best Italian Masters, 
and of the best impressions and proof prints in good condition and 
curiously preserved, some are double and treble. 

' The Sale will be at the house in Covent Garden, where Sir Peter 
Lely lived.' 1 

Covent Garden even so late as Pope's time 
retained its fashion, as may be seen by the following 
extract from the Morning Advertiser for March 6, 


' The Lady Wortley Montague, who has been greatly indisposed at 
her house in Covent Garden for some time, is now perfectly recovered, 
and takes the benefit of the air in Hyde Park every morning, by 
advice of her physicians.' 

The tracing out and examining the peculiar 
manners and customs of the inhabitants and visitors 
of the parish of St. Paul, Covent Garden, is a source 
of knowledge of considerable importance to every 
class of historian, both on account of the immense 
number of persons of the highest rank and title, 
as well as artists of the very first eminence, who at 
one time rendered it the most, and, indeed, the only, 
fashionable part of the town ; and also from the 
immense concourse of wits, literary characters, and 
other men of genius, who frequented the various 
and numerous coffee-houses, wine and cider cellars, 
jelly-shops, etc., within its boundaries, the list of 
whom particularly includes the eminent names of 
Butler, Addison, Sir Kichard Steele, Otway, Dryden, 
Pope, Warburton, Cibber, Fielding, Churchill, 
Bolingbroke, and Dr. Samuel Johnson ; Kich, 

1 It was not the custom formerly to mention the name of the 
auctioneer in advertisements of sales. Smith. 


Woodward, Booth, Wilkes, Garrick, and Macklin ; 
Kitty Clive, Peg Woffington, Mrs. Pritchard, the 
Duchess of Bolton, Lady Derby, Lady Thurlow, 
and the present Duchess of St. Albans ; Sir Peter 
Lely, Sir Godfrey Kneller, and Sir James Thorn- 
hill ; Vandevelde, Zincke, Lambert, Hay man, 
Hogarth, Wilson, Dance, Meyer, etc. 

The diversified pleasure of procuring this infor- 
mation from numerous authentic sources, both 
written and related, together with several curious 
events which have fallen under my own observation, 
has occupied many years of my early life ; and I 
now find myself in possession of a truly interesting 
mass of intelligence, sufficiently extensive for a 
publication of two volumes, containing some curious 
collections towards the history of that most fre- 
quented of parishes, which I hope, w r ith the blessing 
of health and continuance of memory (for the 
possession of which organ the friendly Dr. Spurz- 
heim has given me some credit), to live to see 

But at present I must not lose sight of Mr. 
Nollekens. He for many years made one at the 
table of what was at this time called the Royal 
Academy Club ; and so strongly was he bent upon 
saving all he could privately conceal, that he did 
not mind paying two guineas a year for his ad- 
mission-ticket in order to indulge himself with a 
few nutmegs, which he contrived to pocket 
privately ; for as red-wine negus was the principal 
beverage, nutmegs were used. Now, it generally 
happened, if another bowl was wanted, that the 


nutmegs were missing. Nollekens, who had fre- 
quently been seen to pocket them, was one day 
requested by Rossi, the sculptor, to see if they had 
not fallen under the table ; upon which Nollekens 
actually went crawling beneath upon his hands and 
knees pretending to look for them, though at that 
very time they were in his waistcoat-pocket. He 
was so old a stager at this monopoly of nutmegs 
that he would sometimes engage the maker of the 
negus in conversation, looking at him full in the 
face, whilst he slyly and unobserved, as he thought, 
conveyed away the spice ; like the fellow who is 
stealing the bank-note from the blind man in that 
admirable print of c The Royal Cock-pit,' by 

I believe it is generally considered that those who 
are miserlv in their own houses, almost to a state of 
starvation, when they visit their friends or dine in 
public, but particularly when they are travelling, 
and know that they will be called upon with a pretty 
long bill, are accustomed to lay in what they call a 
good stock of everything, or of all the good things 
the landlord thinks proper to spread before them. 
This was certainly the case with Nollekens when 
he visited Harrogate in order to take the water 
for his diseased mouth. He informed his wife that 
he took three half -pints of water at a time, and as 
he knew the bills would be pretty large at the inn, 
he was determined to indulge in the good things of 
this world ; so that one day he managed to get 
through c a nice roast chicken, with two nice tarts 
and some nice jellies.' Another day he took nearly 


two pounds of venison, the fat of which was at 
least ' two inches thick ' ; at breakfast he always 
managed two muffins, and got through a plate of 
toast, and he took good care to put a French roll in 
his pocket, for fear he should find himself hungry 
when he was walking on the common by himself. 

Our sculptor would sometimes amuse himself on 
a summer's evening by standing with his arms 
behind him at the yard-gate, which opened into 
Titchfield Street. During one of these indulgences, 
as a lady w r as passing, most elegantly dressed, 
attended by a strapping footman in silver-laced 
livery, with a tall gilt-headed cane, she nodded to 
him, and smilingly asked him if he did not know 
her. On his reply that he did not recollect her, 
' What, sir !' exclaimed she, c do you forget Miss 
Coleman, who brought a letter to you from Charles 
Townley to show legs with your Venus ! Why, I 
have been with you twenty times in that little room 
to stand for your Venus !' ' Oh, lauk-a-daisy, so 
you have !' answered Nollekens. ' Why, what a 
fine woman you're grown ! Come, walk in, and I'll 
show you your figure ; I have done it in marble.' 

After desiring the man to stop at the gate, she 
went in with him ; and upon seeing Mrs. Nollekens 
at the parlour-window, who was pretending to talk 
to and feed her sister's bullfinch, but who had been 
informed by the vigilant and suspicious Bronze of 
what had been going on at the gate, she went up to 

her, and said : ' Madam, I have to thank ' 

Mrs. Nollekens then elevated herself on her toes, 
and with a lisping palpitation began to address the 


lady. 'Oh dear!' observed Miss Coleman, 'and 
you don't know me ? You have given me many a 
basin of broth in the depth of winter when I used 
to stand for Venus.' Mrs. Nollekens, not knowing 
what to think of Joseph, shook her head at him as 
she slammed the window, at the same time ex- 
claiming : 'Oh fie, Mr. Nollekens, fie, fie!' Bronze 
assured me that when her master went into the 
front-parlour he had a pretty warm reception. 
' What!' said her mistress, ' to know such wretches 
after you have done with them in your studio !' 
The truth is that Mrs. Nollekens certainly did 
contrive to get a little broth ready for the models, 
such as it was, and she likewise condescended to 
take it into the room herself ; and this, I am sorry 
to say, whatever her motives or other charitable 
intentions might have been, is the only thing I can 
relate of her that bears the semblance of kindness. 

It is probable that Mrs. Nollekens never ex- 
perienced that inexpressible delight which diffuses 
itself through the benevolent heart when alleviating 
the wants of others. Indeed, she would often 
remain at the window looking over the blind, and 
tantalizing the piteous supplicants who every 
moment expected relief from her hand ; and she 
would indulge in this practice that passers-by 
might suppose the inhabitants of the mansion to be 
charitably inclined. One winter morning, when 
the weather was so severe that the blackbirds fell 
from the branches, two miserable men, almost 
dying for want of nourishment, implored her 
charitable aid ; but little did the unhappy men- 


dicants suppose that the only heart which sym- 
pathized in their afflictions was that of Betty, in 
the kitchen, who silently crept upstairs and cheer- 
fully gave them her mite. 

At this delicate rebuke Mrs. Nollekens hastily 
opened the parlour-door, and vociferated : ' Betty, 
Betty, there is a bone below with little or no meat 
on it ; give it the poor creatures !' upon which the 
one who had hitherto spoken, steadfastly looking in 
the face of his pale partner in distress, repeated : 
c Bill, we are to have a bone with little or no meat 
on it.' When they were gone, the liberal-hearted 
Betty was seriously rated by her mistress, who was 
quite certain she would come to want. ' What 
good will your wages do you, child, if you give 
alms so often to such people ? Dr. Johnson has 
done all our servants more injury by that constant 
practice of his of giving charity, as it is called, than 
he is aware of, and I shall take an opportunity of 
telling him so when I next see him at Sir John 
Hawkins' ; and T know Sir John and all his family 
will be on my side, for they are far from being 
extravagant people.' 

My worthy friend, the late Dr. Hill, assured me 
that a gentleman of the faculty, who lectured upon 
medical electricity, and gave advice gratis to the 
poor twice a week at his house in Bond Street, was 
visited by a woman dressed shabbily -genteel, who 
received the shock, until one of the patients in- 
formed the doctor that she was no less a person 
than Mrs. Nollekens, the wife of the famous 
sculptor. He was therefore determined to expose 


her the next day by getting all the poor into the 
room before she was admitted ; and what her shock 
was may easily be conceived, if we allow her to 
have possessed common feeling. 

When she was seated in the electrical chair in 
the centre of the room, the doctor stood before her, 
and, making her a profound bow, addressed her as 
Mrs. Nollekens. ' I wonder, madam,' said he, ' that 
a lady of your fortune, and the wife of a Koyal 
Academician, could think of passing yourself off as 
a pauper you, who ought to enable me to relieve 
these poor people. You are welcome, madam, to 
the assistance which I have given you ; but I hope 
and trust that you will now distribute the amount 
of my fees from persons in your station to your 
distressed fellow- creatures around you in this room.' 
Mrs. Nollekens, after this electrifying shock, dis- 
tributed the contents of her purse, which, un- 
fortunately, on this occasion amounted only to a 
few shillings, though she left the room with a 
promise to send more. After this reproof, how- 
ever, she was noticed to dress a little better, and to 
walk with her high-caned parasol as usual. 

Mrs. Nollekens was not very fond of Miss 
Hawkins ; she said that she was always giving her 
tongue liberties when speaking of Dr. Johnson, 
and whenever Mr. Boswell's name was mentioned 
she would throw herself into such a rage, because 
that gentleman had asserted that Sir John Hawkins, 
her father, was the son of a carpenter. 

Poor Mrs. Nollekens ! what would she have said 
had she lived to have seen the three volumes of 


1 Anecdotes,' in one of which Miss Hawkins says : 
1 Now, as to the carpenter's son, I am almost 
shocked at using lightly a term that exists in Holy 
Writ'? But in my humble opinion, as she was not 
unconscious of overstepping sacred bounds, she 
ought to have been quite shocked for even glancing 
at Holy Writ upon such an occasion. There would 
have been an appearance of good sense in Miss 
Hawkins had she adopted the ingenuous manner in 
which Mr. Gifford, in his account of himself, speaks 
of his own origin prefixed to his translation of 
Juvenal, since he there tells us that he was 
apprenticed to a shoemaker. Again, too, she would 
also have done well had she recollected that Dr. 
Hutton had been a common workman in a coal- 
mine in the North of England ; and, indeed, there 
are innumerable instances of other great and good 
men who have arisen from the most humble calling 
to the pinnacle of fame and honour. That highly - 
respected character, the late Mr. Deputy Nichols, 
one of the editors of the Gentleman s Magazine, 
informed me that Cave, the original Mr. Urban, 
often when he made a visit desired the servant to 
tell his master that ' The cobbler's son had called.' 
Samuel Richardson, the author of ' Clarissa,' had no 
such feelings of false pride, since he scrupled not 
himself to say, ' My father's business was that of a 

As Miss Hawkins did not think proper to exempt 
me from Mr. Sherwin's 1 c pupils in punch,' and as 
I have no wish to leave the world and my family 

1 John Keyse Sherwin, the engraver. He died in 1790. Ed. 


with the slander of drunkenness attached to my 
memory, when at no period of my life have I 
merited that stigma, I shall endeavour to show how 
little this lady, who is so fond of running a tilt at 
others, is to be believed in some of her assertions. 
At page 32, in the second volume of her Memoirs, 
she states, when speaking of Sherwin's eccentricities 
and follies (and well knowing that I was his pupil 
at that time), that 'he fired pistols out of his 
window half the night, and half drowned his pupils ; 
for, sad to say, he had pupils in punch.' 

Miss Hawkins states on the same page that 
8 Sherwin expired, forlorn and comfortless, in a 
poor apartment of a public inn in Oxford Street ;' 
whereas the fact is that Sherwin died in the house 
of the late Mr. Kobert Wilkinson, the print-seller, 
in Cornhill, who kindly attended him, afforded him 
every comfort, and paid respect to his remains ; 
his body having been conveyed to Hampstead, and 
buried in a respectable manner in the churchyard, 
near the north-east corner of the front entrance, in 
the very grave where his brother George had been 
interred. Miss Hawkins states that her mother's 
portrait was painted ; by Prince Hoare of Bath ' ; 
she should have said William Hoare, 1 Esq., E.A., 
Prince Hoare's father. Miss Hawkins, who so 
often considers herself obliged to her brother for a 
good thing, allowed the following to be printed in 
page 218 of the first volume of her Memoirs. 

1 William Hoare, a Suffolk man, born in 1706, became a fashionable 
portrait-painter at Bath, where he died in 1792. Ed. 


(H. H. loquitur.) 

Speaking of Dr. Johnson, H. H. says : * Calling 
upon him shortly after the death of Lord Mansfield, 
and mentioning the event, he answered, " Ah, sir, 
there was little learning and less virtue !" 

Now, unfortunately for Miss Hawkins and her 
brother H. H., this fabricated invective can never 
stand, for that highly respected and learned judge, 
Lord Mansfield, died on Wednesday, March 20, 
1794, ten years after the death of Dr. Johnson, 
with whom H. H. so roundly declares he conversed 
upon his lordship's death. As Miss Hawkins 
states in a note at the foot of page 227 of the first 
volume of her Memoirs, that ' violation of truth 
cannot be treated too harshly,' I trust that I shall 
stand pardoned for what I am doing, especially as 
in the first volume, page 150, she says, 'Brought 
up, as my brothers and myself were, in strict regard 
to truth, and in abhorrence of all insincerity, even 
that of fashion.' 

I think in charity I ought to plead Miss Hawkins' 
chronological ignorance, or she never would have 
acknowledged that she applied to her brother, as 
she does in page 258 of the first volume of her 
Memoirs, for more of his anecdotes of Lord Mans- 
field and Dr. Johnson. In Dr. Birch's 'Life of 
Lord Bacon,' it is said of a biographer that ' he is 
fairly to record the faults as well as the good 
qualities, the failings as well as the perfections, of 
the dead ;' but here the assertion begins with the 
emphatic word fairly. All I have to add to these 


remarks is that, whether Miss Hawkins' grand- 
father or her father had been a carpenter or not 
since she has asserted her descent from Sir John 
Hawkins, who fought against the Spanish Armada 
her time would have been innocently employed if 
she had made out and favoured the public with her 
own pedigree, and proved that descent. 

[ 29 ] 


Mr. Nollekens' favourite amusements Children's headcloths and go- 
carts Bethlehem Hospital and Cibber's figures Anecdotes of Dr. 
Wolcot and Mr. Nollekens, Boswell, H. Tresham, R.A., and Fuseli 
Eccentricities of Lord Coleraine Mr. Nollekens and his barber- 
Anecdotes of the Rev. John Wesley Mr. Nollekens' restoration of 
antiques at Rome Drawings at Rome by Mosman Tailors 
Family quarrels Mr. Nollekens' manoeuvres for importing a 
picture Coarseness of his manners Mr. Charles Townley and 
the Abbe Devay Portrait, house, and antique marbles of Mr. 
Townley described The Royal Cockpit Immorality of Hogarth. 

During my long intimacy with Mr. Nollekens, I 
never once heard him mention the name of the 
sweetest bard that ever sang, from whose luxuriant 
garden most artists have gathered their choicest 
flowers. To the beauties of the immortal Shake- 
speare he was absolutely insensible, nor did he ever 
visit the theatre when his plays were performed, 
though he was actively alive to a pantomime, and 
frequently spake of the capital and curious tricks 
in Harlequin Sorcerer. He also recollected with 
pleasure Mr. Kich's wonderful and singular power 
of scratching his ear with his foot like a dog ; and 
the street-exhibition of Punch and his wife delighted 
him beyond expression. 1 

1 He would probably have equally enjoyed the sight of the 
Traveller Twiss's large poodle dog walking in the open streets, with 



In this gratification, however, our sculptor did 
not stand alone, for I have frequently seen, when I 
have stood in the crowd, wise men laugh at the 
mere squeaking of Punch, and have heard them 
speak of his cunning pranks with the highest 
ecstasy. Indeed, I once saw two brothers of the 
long robe involuntarily stop and heartily enjoy the 
dialogue of that merry little fellow with Jack Ketch, 
who was about to hang Punch for the murder of his 
wife and his innocent babe. These brothers -in-law 
discovered, however, before long that they had not 
only lost their handkerchiefs when they had been 
elbowing the motley group for the best places, but 
that they had deprived a baker, to whom they 
had too closely attached themselves, of his flowery 

Nollekens, when noticing nursery-maids with 
little children, would always make most anxious 
inquiries as to the cutting of the child's teeth ; and 
so addicted was he to accosting strangers in the 
streets, that I remember once his stopping to 
express his sense of the kindness of a mother who 
had made a pudding for her child's head, by saying, 
' Ay, now, what's your name ?' c Rap worth, sir.' 

an immense pair of spectacles upon his nose, cut out in pasteboard, 
between his master and that admirable organist, Samuel Wesley, 
when they have been perambulating Camden Town in close conversa- 
tion ; and have beheld the scene with as much pleasure as those who 
witnessed the attentive gravity of the traveller's dog, with his long 
shaggy hair hanging over his head, and a sagacity of look as if he was 
to decide the not unfrequently knotty points upon which these 
celebrated originals frequently conversed during their pedestrian 
relaxations. Smith. 


' Well, Mrs. Eapworth, you have done right ; I 
wore a pudding when I was a little boy, and all 
my mother's children wore puddings.' 1 As to the 
antiquity of this cap, which is now seldom seen, 
and I believe totally unknown in the nurseries of 
the great, I can safely observe that the child of 
the great painter Sir Peter Paul Rubens wore one ; 
as those mothers who are fond of showing their 
good sense by taking care of their children may 
see in that truly beautiful mezzotinto engraving by 
McArdell, of Rubens, his wife and child walking in 
a garden. 2 

By those readers who are fond of old household 
furniture, and also recollect the sensible uses of 
several articles of that denomination, many of 
which are now nearly thrown aside, the following 
notice of the go-cart may not be deemed irrelevant 
to the subject of this page. It was unquestionably 
one of the safest and most useful of all the comforts 
of the nursery and the infantile playground ; and 
elderly persons will recollect that it was so con- 
structed that it safely enclosed and supported the 
child in an upright position, a little below its arms, 
which were allowed to be entirely free above it. 
As this machine moved upon castors, the child was 

1 This pudding consisted of a broad black silk band, padded with 
wadding, which went round the middle of the head, joined to two 
pieces of riband crossing on the top of the head and then tied under 
the chin, so that by this most excellent contrivance children's heads 
were often preserved uninjured when they fell. Smith. 

2 The painting from which this engraving was made is now at 
Blenheim. Smith. James McArdell, the mezzotint engraver (1710- 
1765). Ed. 


enabled with ease to go forward, whilst in conse- 
quence of its extending so widely at the feet, there 
was no danger whatever of its overturning ; and I 
fully expect, as most things come round again in 
their use, that the affectionate and considerate 
mother will take this most valuable invention again 
into favour. 

The go-cart is supposed to be of considerable 
antiquity, since a figure of it appears upon a sarco- 
phagus of a child, engraven in Montfaucon, 1 and it 
was also much used in Germany and Holland before 
it was known in England. In the British Museum, 
among the early German masters of the fifteenth 
century, there is a rare folio sheet woodcut, repre- 
senting a man nearly bent double by age, with a 
long flowing beard, placed in a square go-cart, 
supported by six legs, tastefully and curiously 
carved with foliage. Upon a shelf at the top of 
the go-cart, which projects in front of him, is 
placed an hour-glass surmounted by a human 
skull ; but these he does not appear to notice, as 
his eye is looking straight forward and considerably 
above them. He is seemingly obeying the allure- 
ments of a boy who is riding on a stick, with a 
horse's head at the top. On one side, a little in 
advance of him and immediately before him, is a 
grave, which, if we may judge by the spade which 
is left on the ground, has been recently dug pur- 
posely for his reception. Behind him is another 

1 'Supplement au Livre l'Antiquite Expliquee,' vol. v., Paris, 
1724, fol., book v., ch. i., sec. ii., pp. 105, 106, plates xlii., xliii. 


child pushing on the go-cart, seemingly with little 
exertion ; and in the distance there is a buck, 
which appears to be bounding back again after he 
had accompanied this aged man to the brink of 
eternity, into which the infant is so easily pushing 
him. 1 

In Quarles's c Emblems ' there is also a go-cart 
introduced ; and Eembrandt has etched one, where 
a nurse or mother is inviting the child who is 
in it to walk to her. This print is numbered 186 in 
Daulby's ' Catalogue of Kembrandt's Etchings,' and 
is there called ' The Go-cart.' When I was a boy 
the go-cart was common in every toy-shop in 
London ; but it was to be found in the greatest 
abundance in the once far-famed turner's shops in 
Spinning-wheel Alley, Moorfields, a narrow passage 
leading from those fields to the spot upon which the 
original Bethlehem Hospital stood in Bishopsgate 
Street, and upon which site numerous houses were 
erected, and formerly called Old Bethlehem. In 
1825-26, however, both Spinning-wheel Alley 
and Old Bethlehem were considerably altered and 
widened, and subsequently named Liverpool Street. 

Upon the establishment of the late Bethlehem 
Hospital, and, indeed, down to the time of King 
Charles II., the men and women were crowded 
together in one ward. I have seen, by favour of 

1 A design, almost similar, has been attributed to Michael Angelo, 
of which there are two different prints, one being without any 
etigraver's name or year of publication, though the other is dated 
1538, and was published by Antonio Salamanca. Mr. Duppa, in his 
'Life of Michael Angelo Buonarroti,' London, 1806, has given an out- 
line copy of this subject. Smith. 


Dr. Haslam, several of the early manuscript 
account-books of this hospital, in one of which 
there was the following entry : ' This clay the 
neighbouring flax-dressers were called in, who gave 
the unruly patients a good dressing.' Whenever 
Nollekens heard the figures of Raving and Melan- 
choly madness mentioned, which were carved by 
Gabriel Cibber 1 for the piers of the gates of Bethle- 
hem Hospital, built in Moorfields, he never ex- 
pressed himself pleased with them. This was not 
the case with Roubiliac, the sculptor, who never 
left the city, when he went there to receive money, 
without going round, sometimes considerably out of 
his way, to admire them. 

It is said that Cibber carved these figures, which 
.are now preserved in the hall of the new hospital 
in St. George's Fields, at once from the block, 
without any previous drawing or model whatever. 
An instance of similar talent for extemporary pro- 
ductions I have heard mentioned by Mr. Joseph 
Cauldfield, a music-engraver, and a most excellent 
teacher of the pianoforte, who has declared that 
the celebrated Charles Dibdin assured him that he 
had frequently composed a song, with all its musical 
accompaniments, and played it in public on the 
evening of the same day entirely by memory, with- 
out the slightest written memoranda. 

Those who recollect the figure of Dr. Wolcot in 
his robust, upright state, and the diminutive appear - 

1 Caius Gabriel Cibber, a Danish sculptor, settled in England. He 
was Carver to the Closet to William III., and the father of Colley 
Cibber, the playwright. He died in 1700. Ed. 


ance of Mr. Nollekens, can readily picture to them- 
selves their extreme contrast, when the former 
accosted the latter one evening at his gate in 
Titchfield Street nearly in the following manner : 
4 Why, Nollekens, you never speak to me now. 
Pray, what is the reason ?' Nollekens : ' Why, you 
have published such lies of the King, and had the 
impudence to send them to me ; but Mrs. Nollekens 
burnt them, and I desire you'll send no more. The 
Royal Family are very good to me, and are great 
friends to all the artists, and I don't like to hear 
anybody say anything against them.' Upon which 
the Doctor put his cane upon the sculptor's 
shoulder, and exclaimed : ' Well said, little Nolly ! 
I like the man who sticks to his friend. You shall 
make a bust of me for that.' c I'll see you d d 
first !' answered Nollekens ; ' and I can tell you this 
besides no man in the Royal Academy but Opie 
would have painted your picture ; and you richly 
deserved the broken head you got from Grifford in 
Wright's shop. Mr. Cook, of Bedford Square, 
showed me his handkerchief dipped in your blood ; 
and so now you know my mind. Come in, my 
Cerberus, come in.' His dog then followed him in, 
and he left the Doctor at the gate, which he barred 
up for the night. 

Nollekens, who always expressed the highest 
pleasure when seeing French and Italian women 
dance, congratulated himself upon the burning 
down of the opera-house in the Haymarket by 
observing : ' Now the managers have hired the 
Pantheon in Oxford Street, I shall not have so far 


to go in the rain !' When he first was a frequenter 
of the opera, which he never missed when c bones ' 
of admission were sent to him, gentlemen were 
obliged to go in swords and bags in full-dress, 
which custom, however, was dropped on the 
removal to the Pantheon ; so that Nollekens was 
more at home, as he was now and then seen to take 
out a worsted stocking and tie it round his neck 
whenever he had a sore throat, to which he was 
often subject. 

James Boswell, the faithful biographer of Dr. 
Johnson, meeting him in the pit of the Pantheon, 
loudly exclaimed : ' Why, Nollekens, how dirty you 
go now! I recollect when you were the gayest 
dressed of any in the house.' To whom Nollekens 
made, for once in his life, the retort courteous of, 
c That's more than I could ever say of you.' 
Boswell certainly looked very badly when dressed, 
for, as he seldom washed himself, his clean ruffles 
served as a striking contrast to his dirty flesh. 

Tresham, 1 the Koyal Academician, who had been 
employed to decorate the front of the stage at the 
Pantheon, filled the tympanum with a profusion of 
figures displaying the sciences, of which perform- 
ance he was not a little proud. Having taken his 
seat in the front to see the effect of his pencil, on 
looking behind him he found his nearest companion 
was Puseli, to whom he addressed himself with : 
Well, Mr. Fuseli, how do you like my pedimental 

1 Henry Tresham (1749 V-1814), an Irish historical painter, was 
elected A.R.A. in 1791, and R.A. in 1799. He was professor of 
painting from 1807 to 1809. Ed. 


colouring ?' to which he received no answer ; but at 
last, after putting several other questions with as 
little success, he roused him by the interrogative 
of : ' How do you like the drawing of my figures ?' 
To which Fuseli, who heard the bell ring, observed : 
' The drawing bespeaks something clever I mean 
the drawing of the curtain,' which the mechanists 
were just at that moment engaged in raising. 
Fuseli, however, soon alleviated the embarrassment 
of his brother R.A. by remarking that the conceited 
scene-painter, Mr. Capon, 1 to whom Sheridan had 
given the nickname of ' Pompous Billy,' had ' piled 
up his lump of rocks as regularly on the side- 
scenes as a baker would his quartern loaves upon 
the shelves behind his counter to cool.' 

I believe every age produces at least one eccentric 
in every city, town, and village. Be this as it may, 
go where you w T ill, you will find some half-witted 
fellow under the nickname either of Dolly, Silly 
Billy, or Foolish Sam, who is generally the butt 
and sport of his neighbours, and from whom, 
simple as he may sometimes be, a sensible answer 
is expected to an unthinking question : like the 
common children, who will, to our annoyance, 
inquire of our neighbour's parrot what it is o'clock. 
In some such light Nollekens was often held even 
by his brother artists ; and I once heard Fuseli cry 
out, when on the opposite side of the street : 
c Nollekens, Nollekens ! why do you walk in the 
sun ? If you have no love for your few brains, 
you should not melt your coat-buttons.' 

1 William Capon of Norwich (1757-1827). Ed. 


The eccentric character is, however, sure to be 
found in London, where there are several curious 
varieties of this class of persons to be met with. 
In our walks, perchance, we may meet a man who 
always casts his eyes towards the ground, as if he 
were ashamed of looking anyone in the face, and 
who pretends when accosted to be near-sighted, so 
that he does not know even the friend that had 
served him. Indeed, he draws his hat across his 
forehead to act as an eyeshade, so that his sallow 
visage cannot immediately be recognised, which 
makes him look as if he had done something 
wrong, whilst his coat is according to the true 
Addison cut, w T ith square pockets, large enough to 
carry the folio 4 Ship of Fools. 5 Nollekens, though 
simple, was entirely free from any artful singularity 
of this kind, and he walked as if he meant to give 
everyone he met the good-morrow ; and if he had 
a fault in his latter perambulations, it w T as that of 
exposing himself to the cunningly inclined. 

No man was more gazed at than the late Lord 
Coleraine. 1 That eccentric and remarkable char- 
acter, who lived near the New Queen's Head and 
Artichoke, in Marylebone Fields, never met 
Nollekens without saluting him with, ' Well, Nolly, 
my old boy, how goes it ? You never sent me the 
bust of the Prince.' To which Nollekens replied, 
4 You know you said you would call for it one of 

1 Colonel George Hanger. He became fourth Baron Coleraine in 
1810, but refused to take the title. His eccentric manners were too 
coarse even for the Prince Kegent. He had spent many years in 
America, and in 1801 he made a curiously accurate prophecy of the 
Civil War in the United States. He died in 1824. Ed. 


these days, and give me the money, and take it 
away in a hackney-coach.' I remember seeing his 
lordship after he had purchased a book, entitled 
' The American Buccaneers,' sit down close by the 
shop from which he had bought it, in the open 
street in St. Giles's, to read it. I also once heard 
Lord Coleraine, as I was passing the wall at the 
end of Portland Eoad, when an old apple-woman, 
with whom his lordship held frequent conversations, 
was packing up her fruit, ask her the following 
question : ' What are you about, mother ?' c Why, 
my lord, I am going home to my tea. If your 
lordship wants any information, I shall come again 
presently.' ' Oh, don't balk trade ! Leave your 
things on the table as they are ; I will mind shop 
till you come back ;' so saying, he seated himself in 
the old woman's wooden chair, in which he had 
often sat before whilst chatting Avith her. Being 
determined to witness the result, after strolling 
about till the return of the old lady, I heard his 
lordship declare the amount of his receipts by 
saying : ' Well, mother, I have taken threepence 
halfpenny for you. Did your daughter Nancy 
drink tea with you ?' 

Mr. Nollekens, on entering his barber's shop, was 
always glad to find another shavee under the suds, 
as it afforded him an opportunity of looking at his 
favourite paper, the Daily Advertiser. When his 
turn arrived, and he was seated for the operation, 
he placed one of Mrs. Nollekens' curling-papers, 
which he had untwisted for the purpose, upon his 
right shoulder, upon which the barber wiped his 


razor. Nollekens cried out, c Shave close, Hancock, 
for I was obliged to come twice last week, you 
used so blunt a razor.' l Lord, sir,' answered the 
poor barber, ' you don't care how I wear my razors 
out by sharpening them.' Mr. Nollekens, who had 
been under his hand for upwards of twenty years, 
was so correct an observer of its application that 
he generally pronounced at the last flourish, ' That 
will do ;' and before the shaver could take off the 
cloth, he dexterously drew down the paper, folded 
it up, and carried it home in his hand, for the 
purpose of using it the next morning when he 
washed himself. 

The following is a verse of a droll song which 
Xollekens used to sing when I was a boy, and with 
which he was always highly delighted. 

' So a rat by degrees 
Fed a kitten with cheese, 

Till kitten grew up to a cat ; 
When the cheese was all spent, 
Nature follow'd its bent, 

And puss quickly ate up the rat.' 

He observed that his mother, who was fond of 
curious sights, once took him to see c Adams' 
Rarities ' at the sign of the Royal Swan, in 
Kingsland Road, where he saw a pillory for a rat. 

Nollekens' manners and sentiments were such, if 
we may with the least degree of propriety be 
permitted to denominate his deportment mannerly, 
that though he would often hold long, and some- 
times entertaining, conversations with the com- 
monest people with the utmost good-nature, he 


would never suffer himself to be persuaded to 
model a bust of any of the sectarians in religion. 
The dignified clergy, and all persons holding high 
offices in the affairs of Government, were the 
characters he delighted to model. I recollect that 
several of the friends of John Wesley often applied 
to him for a portrait of their pastor ; but he never 
would listen to their importunities, though they 
repeatedly declared to him that he was one of the 
worthiest members of any society existing. I have 
been assured that Wesley never wished to make 
money by preaching, unless it were to enable him 
to extend his acts of charity to the poor, in proof 
of which I beg leave to repeat the following 
anecdote nearly, I believe, as I heard it from his 
nephew, Mr. Samuel Wesley. 

An order was made in the House of Lords in 
May, 1776, for the Commissioners of his Majesty's 
Excise to write circular letters to all persons who 
they had reason to suspect had plate, and also to 
those who had not regularly paid the duty on the 
same. In consequence of this order, the Accountant- 
general for Household Plate sent to the Rev. 
John Wesley a copy of it, and the following was 
the answer returned to him : 

4 Sir, 

' I have two silver teaspoons in London, and two at Bristol. 
This is all the plate which I have at present ; and I shall not buy any 
more while so many around me want bread. I am, sir, 

1 Your humble servant, 

'John Wesley.' 

When the death of Deare, the sculptor, was 
communicated to Nollekens, he observed : ' He's 


dead, is he ? That palavering fellow, Fagan, 1 
promised me some of his drawings, but I never had 
any. I have got two of his four basso-relievos of 
the Seasons, and the two oval basso-relievos of 
Cupid and Psyche. They are very clever, I assure 
you ; but he was a very upstart fellow, or he ought 
to have made money by sending over some antiques 
from Rome. I told him I'd sell 'em for him, and 
so might many of 'em ; but the sculptors nowadays 
never care for bringing home anything. They're 
all so stupid and conceited of their own abilities. 
Why, do you know, I got all the first, and the 
best of my money, by putting antiques together ? 
Hamilton, and I, and Jenkins generally used to go 
shares in what we bought ; and as I had to match 
the pieces as well as I could, and clean 'em, I had 
the best part of the profits. Gavin Hamilton was 
a good fellow ; but as for Jenkins, he followed the 
trade of supplying the foreign visitors with intaglios 
and cameos made by his own people, that he kept 
in a part of the ruins of the Colosseum, fitted up for 
'em to work in slyly by themselves. I saw 'em at 
work, though ; and Jenkins gave a whole handful 
of 'em to me to say nothing about the matter to 
anybody else but myself. Bless your heart! he 
sold 'em as fast as they made 'em. Jenkins had a 
great many pictures by many of the Old Masters. 
Mosman, the German, made drawings of 'em in 
black chalk for Lord Exeter, who was his en- 
courager for many years.' 

The cause of Mosman being thus employed was 

1 Robert Fagan, an art-dealer, who was in Rome for the purpose of 
collecting old pictures from 1794 to 1798. Ed. 


related by his patron, the late Earl of Exeter, 
nearly to the following effect : His lordship, when 
at Rome, having entered a church, was surprised 
by seeing a common soldier making a most elaborate 
drawing from one of the altar-pieces. He com- 
plimented him upon his talent, and at the same 
time expressed his astonishment in seeing a man of 
his extraordinary powers in the dress of a common 
soldier. ' Sir,' said the draughtsman, ' you are 
welcome to look at my drawing ; but you have no 
right to remind me of my condition.' Lord Exeter, 
whose dress did not upon every occasion bespeak 
his rank, assured him of his power to serve him if 
he stood in need of a friend ; and when Mosman 
found by whom he had been questioned, he stated 
in a few words that for eighteen years he had been 
tormented by a vixen of a wife, till at last he left 
her in full possession of all his household property, 
pictures, drawings, etc., and enlisted into a foreign 
regiment as a common man that his officer, who 
had heard his story, was very kind to him, and gave 
him leave to make the drawing he was then engaged 
upon. Lord Exeter purchased his discharge, and 
employed him to make drawings of various fine 
pictures, of which at that time there were no 
engravings. These drawings now fill four im- 
mensely large volumes, and were given by his 
lordship to the British Museum ; and at the com- 
mencement of the first of these splendid books is 
the following note : 

' Mr. Nollekens, Statuary, in Mortimer-street, London, assured me 
that he was at Rome when the drawings in this book were made by 


one Mosman, a German, 1 who was recommended to Brownlow, Earl 
of Exeter ; and he worked at them several years at five shillings 
a-day. Afterwards Lord Exeter gave him half-a-guinea. Lord Exeter 
told Mr. Nollekens the book cost him 2,000/. Mosman was a pupil 
of Mengs. 

( Fra s . Annesley.' 

One day, what some persons would call ' an old- 
fashioned boy ' brought Mr. Nollekens home a pair 
of inexpressibles, that his master, a botching tailor, 
who worked in an opposite stall, had seated for 
him. Nollekens, after paying him the eighteen- 
pence, which was the sum agreed upon for the 
job, asked the boy how old he was. ' Sixteen,' 
answered he. ' Why, you're rather short of your 
age,' rejoined the sculptor ; upon which the boy 
put the same question to the master of the small- 
clothes, who having answered, 'Near sixty' 'Why, 
you're very short for your age, I am sure!' retorted 
the son of Accutus. 2 

I shall now give my reader a sketch of one of the 
family disputes in which Mr. and Mrs. Nollekens 
sometimes freely indulged. 

One day Bronze heard a more violent disputation 

1 It appears on the manuscript title-page of the first volume of these 
drawings that Joseph was considered as Mosman's Christian name ; 
but in numerous, and indeed all, instances where the artist has written 
his own name upon the drawings, he signs Nicholas Mosman. The 
same title-page states that he was a native of Rous, in Lorraine, and 
died August 14, 1787, aged fifty-eight years two months and eleven 
days. Smith. 

2 The great warrior, John Accutus, was originally a tailor. Those 
invaluable historians of everlasting reference, John Stow and John 
Speed, were also tailors ; and I could introduce the names of many 
other worthy men now living, of the highest talents, who have 
exchanged the needle, thimble, scissors, and shopboard for poetry and 
painting. Smith. 


than usual between her master and mistress : 
4 What !' cried he, ' what ! madam, you're at your 
old tricks again ? Twopence indeed ! I say I paid 
you the twopence for the letter, and I'll take my 
'davy of it !' ' Very well, sir, very well ; it's 
mighty well, perfectly correct, and perfectly just, 
Mr. Positive, I dare say,' retorted Mrs. Nollekens ; 
4 you shall see, sir, from this very moment I will 
never pay for a letter of yours again !' Then, after 
a pause, her bit of slate was thrown on the floor, 
and the lady in a whining tone, which convinced 
Bronze she was wound up to the highest pitch, 
cried with a half-stifled sob, ' You know you 
know you vile little thing ! you paid me only 
two shillings and sevenpence on last Thursday's 
account.' 1 1 tell you this, and now mind what I 
say,' replied Nollekens, ' that if it was so, it's your 
own fault, for I never will pay a farthing more 
when you have once smeared the slate, that I tell 
you.' A knock at the door induced Bronze to go 
in, and say, l Hush ! hush ! there's a knock at the 
street-door.' ' I don't care,' exclaimed the sculptor, 
c she shan't colly-wabble me. Go and see who it 
is.' ' Want any fish to-day ?' asked an Irish fish- 
woman ; * it's Friday, bless ye !' 'I don't care for 
Friday. 1 I've had dinner enough, quite enough,' 

1 Whatever a man's religion may be, some praise is due to him for 
his attention to the tenets of that faith. I fear Nollekens was not 
entitled to much credit for observances to what he called his Mother 
Church, for I have often heard him declare that the patronage of his 
friend Cardinal Albani, a great lover of sculpture, secured him from 
the observations of many persons, as to his neglect of religious duties. 



answered JNollekens, who walked out of the room 
with only one slipper on. 'Betty ! Betty ! shut 
the door ; it is very odd that people will not take 
an answer,' rejoined Mrs. Nollekens. 

At three o'clock, however, some chops were pro- 
duced, and the half- sullen pair began both to be 
sorry for their little heat ; but after the table-cloth 
was removed, upon Bronze going into the parlour 
with coals, she found them so perfectly recon- 
ciled that her master was patting her mistress's 
cheek with the backs of his fingers, and they both 

' Still amorous, and fond, and billing, 
Like Philip ajod Mary on a shilling.' 


' Like dogs that snarl about a bone, 
l And play together when they've none.' 

Nollekens, though his cunning w T as truly amusing, 
particularly whenever he could gain the whip-hand 
of his w^ife, yet at times, like Sir Giles Overreach, 
over-reached himself; and this he did most com- 
pletely when he returned from Rome, as will 
appear from the following anecdote, which was 
communicated to me by one of his relations. 

When he was preparing to leave Italy for 
England, he wished to bring, among a quantity of 
other things, a large picture, but after reflecting 
upon the immense duty that might be put upon it 
on account of its enormous size, he very ingeniously 
hit upon the sensible expedient of cutting it into 
several pieces, cunningly concluding that the in- 
spector at the Custom-house would pass them over 


as useless mutilations. But lo ! when these cut- 
tings were inspected, the officer, in placing them 
together, detected his countryman's intended de- 
ception, and by making it known to the Com- 
missioners, he was made to pay for every portion as 
a distinct picture. 

Nollekens knew so little of what is generally 
denominated good-breeding, that when he has been 
at the country-house of any of his employers 
putting up a monument, his conversation has been 
often so unguarded and vulgar as to occasion a 
table to be ordered for him in a room by himself, 
which deprived him of the agreeable society he 
might otherwise have been- entitled to. I know 
this to have been the case when he was at the seat 
of a certain nobleman, of which he complained to 
Mrs. Nollekens on his return to town. 

Mr. Charles Townley, however, did not follow 
this plan, for that gentleman, who had noticed 
Nollekens at Rome, kindly continued for years to 
entertain him at his house, No. 7, in Park Street, 
Westminster ; and whenever any person spake of 
good eating, Mr. Nollekens always gave his friend 
Mr. Townley the highest credit for keeping a most 
excellent table. C I am sure,' said he, 'to make a 
good dinner at his house on a Sunday ; but there is 
a little man, a great deal less than myself, who 
dines there, of the name of Devay, a French abbe, 
who beats me out and out ; he is one of the greatest 
gormandizers I ever met with, though, to look at 
him, you would declare him to be in the most 
deplorable state of starvation.' 


The Abbe Devav was an excellent man : lie con- 
versed and wrote in many languages, and his reading 
and memory were so extensive and useful that 
Mr. Townley, who referred to him in his literary 
concerns, always called him his ' walking library.' 
The high qualifications of the Abbe were also 
known and acknowledged by other men of learn- 
ing ; he was frequently present at the breakfast- 
table and conversazioni of Sir Joseph Banks, and 
instructed several persons of eminence in the 

The Sunday dinners of Mr. Townley, mentioned 
above, were principally for professors of the arts, 
and Sir Joshua Eeynolds and Zoffany generally 
enlivened the circle. The last-mentioned of these 
celebrated characters painted a picture called ' Mr. 
Townley's Gallery of Statues'; it was a portrait of 
the library, though not strictly correct as to its 
contents, since all the best of the marbles displayed 
in various parts of the house were brought into the 
painting by the artist, who made it up into a 
picturesque composition according to his own taste. 
The likeness of Mr. Townley is extremely good. 
He is seated, and looks like the dignified possessor 
of such treasures ; at his feet lies his favourite 
dog Kam, a native of Kamschatka, whose mother 
was one of the dogs yoked to a sledge which drew 
Captain King in that island. Opposite to Mr. 
Townley is Monsieur D'Hancarville, seated at a 
table with a book open before him, behind whose 
chair stand two others of his friends, Thomas 
Astle, Esq., and the Hon. 'Charles G- revile, con- 


versing. There is a large engraving of this picture, 
but unfortunately it is in an unfinished state. The 
painting itself has lately been sent to Townley 
Hall. This picture is of the same description, in 
point of subject and colouring, as the one painted 
by the same artist of the Florentine Gallery for the 
late King George III. 

That excellent monarch, having heard this collec- 
tion of marbles much spoken of, so highly respected 
Mr. Townley that his Majesty declared his intention 
of visiting him, though he never did. It happened, 
however, that when Mr. Townley petitioned the 
Board of Works to allow a tree in the Birdcage 
Walk which darkened his house to be cut down, the 
King, to whom this petition was submitted, at once 
most liberally gave permission, observing that Mr. 
Townley should have every possible accommodation. 
It is very remarkable that this gentleman was not 
only obliged by the King, but afterwards by an 
easterly wind, which, according to the proverb, 
seldom proves beneficial, for no sooner was the tree 
cut down than a tremendous hurricane arose, which 
tore up the one that had stood next to it, by which 
his rooms received an extensive and uninterrupted 
light from the north. 

From what I have seen and heard described, in 
no instance can a orivate residence be found to 
equal that of the late Charles Townley, Esq. The 
possession of taste and an affluent fortune qualified 
and enabled that enlightened and elegant gentleman 
to indulge, in the course of his travels, in the 
purchase of those antiques which now grace the 


Townley Gallery of the British Museum, which 
will clo eternal honour to his memory, as well as to 
the Government which so liberally purchased them. 
These treasures still keep their estimation with the 
public, notwithstanding the Elgin marbles are now 
considered by the professors, in every branch of 
the polite arts, to comprise the artists' primer. I 
shall now endeavour to anticipate the wish of the 
reader by giving a brief description of those rooms 
of Mr. Townley's house, in which that gentleman's 
liberality employed me when a boy, with many 
other students in the Royal Academy, to make 
drawings for his portfolios. 

As the visitor entered the hall, his attention was 
arrested by an immense sarcophagus on his left 
hand, measuring seven feet in length, opposite to 
which were two heads of lions, the size of life, one 
on either side of the chimney-piece. This hall was 
also adorned with bas-reliefs, sepulchral monu- 
ments, inscriptions, cinerary urns, etc., from the 
villas of Fonsega, Montalto, Pullucchi, Antoninus 
Pius, the Justiniani Palace, etc. The staircase was 
enriched with sepulchral urns and numerous Roman 
inscriptions, and a very curious and ancient chair of 
Pavonazzo marble. In the space over the dining- 
room door was a bas-relief of a mystical marriage, 
When the marbles were conveyed to the British 
Museum, this space was filled up with a cast of a 
boar taken from the celebrated one at Paris. The 
parlour or dressing-room in Park Street contained 
a rich display of votive altars, sepulchral urns, and 
inscriptions. Among the marbles was a most 


spirited statue o a Satyr, the thumb of whose 
right hand is enclosed between his two fore-fingers ; 
it is now numbered 24 in the Townley Gallery 
in the British Museum, and this small but excellent 
specimen of ancient art was presented to Mr. 
Townley by his friend Lord Cawdor. The ancient, 
rare, and truly interesting collection of terra-cottas 
brought from Rome by Nollekens, which has been 
already noticed in an early page of this volume, was 
let into the walls of this room. Of the female 
figures in these specimens the tasteful Cipriani was 
so extremely fond that he has been heard to 
declare to Mr. Townley that they afforded him so 
much pleasure that he never knew when to leave 

The dining-parlour looking over St. James's 
Park was a room in which Mr. Townley has enter- 
tained personages of the highest rank in this 
kingdom, as well as visitors from all nations who 
were eminent for the brilliancy of their wit or their 
literary acquirements, and it contained the greater 
part of his statues. Here stood those of Libera, 
Isis, Diana, the Discobolus, a drunken Faun, and 
an Adonis ; but, above all, that most magnificent 
one, of Venus, which measures six feet four inches 
in height. Mr. Nollekens informed me that, in 
the conveyance of this statue to England, the 
following singular stratagem to save the immense 
duty upon so large and so perfect a figure was 
resorted to. In consequence of it having been dis- 
covered that the figure had been carved from two 
blocks and put together at the waist, at the com- 


mencement of the drapery, it was separated, and 
sent at different times, so that the duty upon each 
fragment amounted to a mere trifle. It is now 
numbered 14 in the Townley Gallery in the British 

Among the busts was that of Caracalla, and one 
of the most beautiful vases perhaps in the world. 
It is embellished with Bacchanalian figures, and 
was brought from the Villa of Antoninus, where 
other treasures of art have been discovered. Over 
the chimney-piece in the drawing-room, looking 
into Park Street, was a bas-relief in terra-cotta of 
a marriage ceremony, modelled by Mr. Nollekens 
from the one over the dining-room door. This 
performance was highly esteemed by Mr. Townley, 
who always spake of Mr. Nollekens as the first 
sculptor of his day. 

The drawing-room, commanding a most beautiful 
view of the Park, contained principally the follow- 
ing heads and busts : Decebatus, Marcus Aurelius, 
Hadrian, Trajan, Hercules, Antinous, and Adonis ; 
but of all others, that of Isis upon the Lotus was 
considered by artists to be one of the most perfect 
and beautiful specimens of sculpture. It was 
purchased of Prince Laurenzano, of Naples, in 
1772. This bust of Isis, which Mr. Nollekens 
considered to be a portrait of the sculptor's model, 
was so much admired by him that he always had a 
copy of it in marble purposely for sale. The last 
one was sold, after the collection was purchased by 
Government, to John Townley, Esq., for one 
hundred guineas, who was delighted to see so 


exquisite a copy placed in the situation which the 
original had graced for so many years. 

The same room also contained a child asleep, 
a figure of Diana seated, and a lion's head with 
horns. Of this last specimen I have heard Mr. 
Chantrey speak in rapturous terms, particularly as 
to the animated manner in which the artist had 
used the drill in finishing the mane, for this tool, 
when judiciously introduced in hair, certainly gives 
wonderful vigour and depth of touch, as may be 
seen in the numerous portraits of persons of the 
highest rank and talent produced by Chantrey, 
whose busts alone have secured him unrivalled 

The library was highly interesting : it was lighted 
from above, and was in every respect an excellent 
room for study. The marbles in it were not so 
numerous as those in the dining-parlour, but they 
consisted of some choice specimens. Among the 
busts were those of Antoninus Pius, Titan, 
Caracalla's wife, Plautilla, Lucius Verus, and the 
celebrated one of Homer, which has been so 
repeatedly and admirably engraven. Here were 
also the heads of Adonis, and that beautiful one 
of a child with its locks uncut over its right 
ear, together with the exquisite little statue of 
Angerona, which is now called a Venus, and 
numbered 22 in the gallery of the British Museum. 
Mr. Nollekens renewed the arms of this figure, for 
which restoration I stood when his pupil. 

Mr. Townley was so enamoured with his favourite 
busts of Isis, Pericles, and Homer, the most perfect 


specimens of ancient art, that he employed the 
hand of Skelton, Sharpe's favourite pupil, to 
engrave them upon a small plate, which he used as 
his visiting-card. This elegant performance, always 
considered a great rarity, was left only at the 
houses of particular persons, so that an impression 
of it is now greatly coveted by the collectors of 
such bijoux. 

Of all Mr. Townley's friends, I am perfectly 
convinced that no one respected him more than 
Mr. Christie, the auctioneer, and a member of the 
Dilettanti Society, for whose learning and classical 
acquirements Mr. Townley had the highest esteem, 
and to whom he always gave up the keys of his 
cabinets whenever he visited him. Mr. Townley 
was buried at Burnley, near Townley Hall, in 
Lancashire ; and so much was he beloved by the 
country people far and near, that as his hearse 
passed the sides of the road were crowded and the 
windows of the town filled, the spectators being all 
silent and uncovered. 

Mr. Townley's bust in the first room of the 
Gallery of Antiquities in the British Museum is 
considered a pretty good likeness, though the lower 
part of the face is certainly too full. Mr. Nollekens 
carved it after Mr. Townley's death, from a mask 
which he took from his face. Another bust by 
Nollekens, though by no means so good either in 
art or likeness, has been bequeathed to the same 
national institution by the late Richard Payne 
Knight, Esq. 

The Dilettanti Society, as well as other learned 


men, with whom Mr. Townley had lived in the 
most cheerful and instructive intercourse, were 
deprived of their accustomed pleasures by his 
death, which took place in the bedchamber on the 
second floor looking over the Park, on January 3, 
1805. In this room also died his uncle, John 
Townley, Esq., a highly -respected gentleman, who 
had for many years been an eminent collector of 
Hollar's works, of English portraits for the illus- 
tration of Granger's ' Biographical History of 
England,' and of rare and valuable books, for the 
reception of which he had fitted up the dining and 
drawing rooms facing the Park, with accommodating 
galleries all round. The house is now inhabited by 
his son, Peregrine Edward Townley, Esq., a family 
trustee of the British Museum. 

This house, which was purchased by Mr. Townley 
in that state denominated by builders ! a shell,' was 
finished according to his own taste ; but the ground 
upon which it stands, as well as that of several 
adjoining mansions, belongs to Christ's Hospital. 
The late Koyal Cockpit, which afforded Hogarth 
an excellent scene for his humour, remained a 
next-door noisy nuisance to Mr. Townley for many 
years. It is a curious fact that of this print of the 
Cockpit by Hogarth, as well as those of the Gates 
of Calais and South wark Fair, I have never seen, 
read, nor heard of an etching, nor of any im- 
pression whatever, with a variation from the state 
in which they were published. 

This is the more extraordinary as they are all 
highly-finished plates, and the artist must have 


required many proofs of them in their progress 
before he could have been satisfied with their effect, 
particularly in that of Southwark Fair, which, in 
my opinion, is not only the deepest studied as to 
composition, and light and shade, but the most 
elaborately finished, and perhaps the most inno- 
cently entertaining of all his works. For great as 
Hogarth was in his display of every variety of 
character, I should never think of exhibiting a 
portfolio of his prints to the youthful inquirer ; nor 
can I agree that the man who was so accustomed 
to visit, so fond of delineating, and who gave up so 
much of his time to the vices of the most abandoned 
classes, was in truth a c moral teacher of mankind.' 
My father knew Hogarth well, and I have often 
heard him declare that he revelled in the company 
of the drunken and profligate Churchill, Wilkes, 
Hayman, etc., were among his constant companions. 
Dr. John Hoadly, though in my opinion it reflected 
no credit on him, delighted in his company ; but 
he did not approve of all the prints produced by 
him, particularly that of the first state of c En- 
thusiasm Displayed,' which, had Mr. Garrick or 
Dr. Johnson seen, they could never for a moment 
have entertained their high esteem of so irreligious 
a character. 

[ 237 ] 


Mr. Nollekens' intelligence whilst abroad Prints of Marc- Antonio 
Distinction of draperies and flesh in sculpture Dutch tables, and 
improvement in English taste Difficulties attendant on the lighting 
of pieces of sculpture Ignorance of persons employed to erect and 
repair them. Huge blocks of marble used by modern sculptors 
Fatal consequences of piecing the stone Works of a mender of 
antiques Anecdote of Mr. Whitbread Coquetry, death, and funeral 
of Angelica Kauffmann Death and epitaph of Miss Welch Mr. 
Nollekens' visits to the Opera Instances of his economy and ignor- 
ance Dog- Jennings. 

It is reasonable to expect, in the course of repeated 
conversations with travellers, or with persons who 
have resided several years abroad, some little 
account of their particular pursuits and employ- 
ments, as well as of their pleasures and amuse- 
ments ; but it is most extraordinary that Mr. 
Nollekens' observations on events which had 
taken place during his absence from England 
never led him to speak of works of sculp- 
ture unless he was questioned ; and then his 
answers did not prove that he possessed any depth 
of knowledge of their history. Indeed, they 
amounted to little more than monosyllabic answers, 
though I am certain, if he had turned to his 


memorandum-books, in which there were numerous 
sketches of groups, statues, and busts, with their 
mutilations and measurements, he certainly could 
have afforded much information. But this power 
he did not possess ; nor was he inclined to look 
them over until the later period of his life, when 
his mind, had it ever been qualified, would, accord- 
ing to the decay of nature, have been less capable to 
apply them to any use. 

During the long period of my knowledge of him, 
Nollekens never once attempted to descant upon 
the sublimity of thought, the grandeur of the 
composition, nor the energetic expression of the 
Laocoon, the Apollo Belvidere, the Farnese Her- 
cules, the Niobe, the Venus de Medici, nor the 
Diana of Ephesus. Nor did he ever appear to have 
an inclination to collect the rise, progress, and 
history of his art. A Babylonian seal with him 
would have been a thing of no further estimation 
than for its colour as a stone. A figure with its 
legs and feet closed together was never noticed by 
him as the first attempt of Egyptian sculpture, nor 
was he aware that the projection of one leg before 
the other was their first step to action, nor that the 
arms of two seated figures, male and female, across 
each other's back was the first instance of grouping 
with the Egyptians. He knew very little as to the 
introduction of Grecian art into Rome ; though he 
was certainly pretty well informed as to the works 
of Michael Angelo and John di Bologna, yet, at the 
same time, he expressed himself with as much plea- 
sure when he saw Bernini's group in the coachhouse 


of Sir Joshua Reynolds as he possibly could with 
the productions of the two preceding great men. 

Nollekens' usual communications to his friends 
were the number of miles from Rome to Loretto ; 
the names of persons who walked together on a 
very hot day ; that Mr. Dalton's 1 conduct towards 
Mr. Strange, 2 the engraver, was shamefully cruel ; 
that little Crone, 3 the landscape-draughtsman, who 
was employed to collect prints in Rome for Mr. 
Mangin, of Dublin, was much ridiculed by the 
natives on account of his deformity ; or that such 
a Cardinal feigned a consumptive cough at the time 
of an election for a Pope. One curious anecdote, 
however, he frequently related when showing his 
prints namely, that when he was at Rome, at the 
fair time, the original plates engraved by Marc- 
Antonio were printed for the bystanders at a 
shilling an hour, the employer finding ink and 
paper ; and that the eagerness with which these 
worn-out and repeatedly touched-up publications of 
Antonio Salamanca were collected induced the 
visitors to cry out : ' The next shilling's worth is 
for me ;' or, ' It is my turn now.' This will at once 
account for the great quantity of bad impressions 
from Marc-Antonio's plates which are now in 

Much has frequently been said by those persons 
who understand little of the matter respecting the 

1 Richard Dalton (1720-1791), eEgraver and surveyor of the royal 
pictures to George III. Ed. 

2 Sir Robert Strange (1721-1792). Ed. 

3 Robert Crone. He was an epileptic, and died in a fit in 1799. 


practice of modern sculptors, as it regards the 
manner in which the texture of the respective 
materials they represent should be carved. They 
insist that no attempt to particularize any specific 
substance should be made, but that every descrip- 
tion of drapery should be treated alike, whether 
linen, silk, or woollen so that it be drapery it is 
enough. Another states that the silk drapery given 
by Eoubiliac to the statue of Sir Isaac Newton at 
Cambridge is more often admired than the other 
parts of the figure ; and this may probably be the 
case, as the ideas of those persons who praise the 
statue for its silk mantle are confined to texture 
only. But surely it would have been highly im- 
proper if Roubiliac had given folds like those of 
linen or woollen, when he knew that he had to 
represent silk. 

Chantrey's busts are valuable, in addition to their 
astonishing strength of natural character, for the 
fleshy manner in which he has treated them, which 
every real artist knows to be the most difficult part 
of the sculptor's task. Surely the man of taste, 
after he has admired and spoken of the fleshiness 
of a figure, would not think of blaming the sculptor 
for attending to the manner in which he had carved 
the ermine of a king's robe, the lawn sleeves of a 
bishop's rochet, the silk riband of an order of 
knighthood, or the woollen coat of an admiral. 
Each of these articles should be precisely attended 
to, or they will not remind us of the things which 
they are intended to represent ; and if the sculptor 
were wholly inattentive to texture, many a lawyer 


would be deprived of his silk gown. Suppose the 
artist had to carve a negro's woolly head, should 
the hair be as sleek and oily as his skin ? In my 
opinion, unquestionably not ; nor should the foam 
of the fiery steed be glossy like its coat. The flesh 
of that truly beautiful figure of Charity, by West- 
macott, now in his studio, is powerfully and properly 
contrasted by the coarseness of the dowlas drapery 
with which he has covered her limbs ; and perhaps 
I cannot point out a more striking instance of the 
unequivocal influence of contrast than that which is 
displayed in this figure. 

Nollekens, great as he certainly was as a sculptor 
of busts, never produced that lively fleshiness which 
we see so pre-eminently attended to by the best 
English sculptors of the present day ; and yet he 
was fully aware of its beauty and high importance, 
for I have often heard him observe, when anyone 
was looking at an antique head of a Faun, which 
was afterwards purchased at his sale by his Grace 
the Duke of Newcastle, that he never saw flesh 
better represented in marble, and that it was for 
that great excellence he bought it. But though 
texture of the mechanical materials is by no means 
to be neglected, it can be viewed by an intellectual 
person in a secondary light only ; and it has often 
of late years given me great pleasure to observe 
that the same class of persons, who in my boyish 
days would admire a bleeding-heart cherry painted 
upon a Pontipool tea-board, or a Tradescant straw- 
berry upon a Dutch table, 1 now attentively look, 

1 This description of table, the pride of our great-grandmothers, in 
which the brightest colours were most gorgeously displayed, was first 



and for a long time, too, with the most awful 
respect at the majestic fragments of the Greek 
sculptors' art so gloriously displayed in the Elgin 
Gallery. These are indeed treasures, the merits 
of which, in my humble opinion, men of the first 
talent, however powerful might be their command 
of words, would find themselves at least inadequate 
to describe. 

There is one truly lamentable disadvantage to 
which the works of our best sculptors are frequently 
exposed, namely, the want of a good light, without 
which their labours cannot be viewed with that 
essential assistance which the painter's productions 
can in most instances procure. 

The exquisitely-finished and numerous beauties 
of a cabinet-picture can at all times be appreciated 
by placing it in its proper light upon an easel as the 
artist painted it, and intended it should be viewed ; 
and a large picture may be hung in a gallery under 
a certain admission of light falling upon it, accord- 
ing to the arrangement and intention of the artist. 
For the old historical painters always considered 
very attentively the portion and power of light, as 
well as the precise time it would fall upon those 

imported from Holland into England in the reign of William and 
Mary. The top was nothing more than a large oval tea-tray, with a 
raised scalloped border round it, fixed upon a pillar, having a claw of 
three legs. They are now and then to be met with in our good old- 
fashioned family mansions, and brokers' shops. 

They were formerly considered by our aunts Deborah to be such 
an ornament to a room that, in order to exhibit them to advantage, 
they were put up in the corner of a waiting-parlour for the admira- 
tion of the country tenants when they brought their rents, or sat 
waiting their turn for an order for coals in a severe winter. Smith. 


parts of the walls to which their labours were 
destined, and they painted their pictures either 
brighter or darker, modestly low or powerfully 
strong, according to existing or adventitious cir- 
cumstances. Sometimes, however, when they were 
unavoidably compelled to occupy a gloomy recess 
in a small chapel, illumined only by a borrowed or 
a reflected light, they first of all considered the 
angle of reflection under which their performances 
could be best seen, and then painted their picture so 
as to meet it. 

The sculptor, on the contrary, unaided by 
colours, has perhaps either too much or too little 
light for his monument, and is often obliged to 
erect it where there is hardly any at all, because 
that part of the church belongs to the family, or 
they insist upon having it as near as possible to 
their pew, which has always gone with the mansion 
they reside in ; thus enshrouding themselves in 
their own primitive importance in the parish, at the 
same time, perhaps, being totally ignorant of the 
effect of a masterpiece of art, upon which they 
have expended a considerable sum ; or not in any 
way evincing an interest for the fame of the artist 
employed, whose reputation has invited travellers 
to visit the church, which is often a great source of 
pleasure to the tourist. 

I remember that Flaxman, after he had put up 
his monument to the memory of Lord Mansfield in 
Westminster Abbey, applied to the Dean for per- 
mission to cover a small portion of a window with 
a gray colour, in order to shut out an unpleasant 


glare of light ; but the Dean, to the great mortifica- 
tion of the sculptor, would not comply with the 
request. Nollekens seldom knew, nor, indeed, did 
any of the English sculptors of former days care, 
in what part of a country church their monuments 
were to be placed ; they received the measurements 
of the space they were to occupy from the family, 
who had them from the carpenter, who was not 
at all times very correct, without any notice of the 
aspect, or stating whether the space were over or 
under a window, or against a pier, or near the altar, 
receiving a vertical light or a diagonal one ; and 
upon this carelessly-measured order the sculptor 
proceeded, never dreaming that his work was to be 
placed close to the vestry-door in a dark corner. 
Then, too, when it was up, the plasterer was to 
adorn it with a neat jet-black border of a foot in 
width ! so that it should match unostentatiously 
with a monument on the opposite side, in an equally 
forlorn situation, belonging to a family with whom 
the relatives of the last deceased had been for ages 
inveterately at variance ; whilst, to crown the whole 
of this unhappy injury to art, the putting up was 
generally entrusted to a mason, who, upon his 
return to London, was rarely questioned as to where 
it was erected, or as to how it looked. 

To the praise of the artists, and the improved 
taste of their employers of the present day, there is 
very little of that monumental jobbing now per- 
mitted ; the aspect and situation are first seen and 
considered, accurate measurements are then made, 
and the sculptor either sends his own experienced 


assistants from London to erect it, or superintends 
it himself. And here I consider it my duty to 
state, notwithstanding what I have said of a late 
Dean of Westminster, that even the country clergy 
of the present day, from their more general know- 
ledge of works of art, are, with very few exceptions, 
both willing and desirous of affording the sculptor 
every possible assistance in their power, either by 
shutting out obtrusive li^ht, or admitting: a greater 
flood of it where the artist may consider it beneficial. 
I have also infinite pleasure in being able to state 
that our present sculptors of eminence will not 
submit to the directions of the ignorant employer 
to the deterioration of their productions, however 
powerful his station in life may be. It would be 
as well if our dressers for theatrical representations 
would be as honestly firm, and not attend to the 
ridiculous gew-gaw directions of an obstinate 
manager ; we should then stand a good chance of 
seeing the true costume of place and period, instead 
of being obliged to sit out a play grossly defective 
in almost every scene. 

Of the mode of producing a figure by what 
Nollekens called manoeuvring the marble, and 
making it up of bits, our modern sculptors so com- 
pletely disapprove that they have even worked 
nearly the whole of the groups of their monuments 
erected in St. Paul's Cathedral out of one piece of 
marble ; and so immense are the blocks now im- 
ported into England for works of sculpture, that 
at this moment Mr. Chantrey has one weighing 
many tons, for which he paid about the sum 


of 600. Flaxman's last and truly grand work 
of St. Michael overpowering Satan, which he 
executed for the Earl of Egremont's noble gallery 
of modern sculpture at Petworth, is likewise of one 
block ; and this is also the universal practice with 
all the other eminent sculptors. Westmacott's 
charming group of Venus and Cupid, which he 
is now executing for the same liberal nobleman, 
is from one block ; and Rossi's truly vigorous and 
masterly figure of the Boxer, just finished for the 
same gallery, is likewise cut out of one piece, as 
well as Bailey's animated statue of Earl St. Vincent, 
executed by order of Government. 

And here I must earnestly request the reader, 
who may not at present be acquainted with the 
names of other sculptors, not to suppose for a 
moment that I confine these remarks to the members 
of the Royal Academy. I should then consider 
myself unworthy of the esteem of many young 
artists, whose works are shining ornaments to their 
country, and who must ultimately fill the honour- 
able seats of the present members ; but as there 
are tares amongst the wheat, I considered it better 
to confine myself to those individuals only who 
have been acknowledged by so honourable a body 
as the Royal Academy, fully trusting that the 
time will arrive when I shall more extensively have 
it in my power to hand down a list of the pro- 
ductions of some of them with as much pleasure 
and impartiality as I have those who at present so 
deservedly flourish under the distinguished appella- 
tion of Royal Academicians. 


To return to the subject, however, I should 
observe that the disadvantages of piecing the 
marble are often obvious, even to the most common 
observer ; as may be seen in many instances, where 
either the cramps have burst or given way, or, 
from their not having been properly covered with 
resin, the iron has so corroded the marble as 
entirely to disfigure some of our finest works of 
art. Another great objection which may be 
adduced to the joining of marble is that, where the 
joints are made in preponderating parts, it usually 
happens that they give way, fall, and are broken. 
And even this is not all, for sometimes, when such 
an accident happens at a great distance from the 
capital, the seat of most of our eminent artists, the 
common mason of the district is called in to reset 
the head or a broken limb a fellow perhaps who, 
with all the kindred and impenetrable hardness of 
his own granite, as soon as he is admitted into your 
presence, puts his mallet-hand to his side in readi- 
ness to pull out his two-foot rule, which he is 
always sure to open at a right angle before he 
answers or even hears the question ; and then, 
immediately after rubbing the back of his right 
ear and most accurately measuring the fractured 
parts, hits upon a plan of cutting out the mutila- 
tions by taking about three inches from the arm of 
the statue ! The very thoughts of such masonic 
masters of the craft paint to my imagination the 
sort of fellow he must have been who put the left- 
hand glove upon the right hand of the effigy of 
Guy Faux, in Hogarth's humorously-entertaining 


print, illustrative of Huclibras, called the c Burning 
of the Rumps.' 

. However, should any of my readers exclaim 
with Osric, c A hit, a very palpable hit !' I could, 
in compassion to those who blindly employ these 
masonic followers of Praxiteles, relate several 
things equally good of a wealthy man of some 
family, who turns his back upon all modern 
sculpture in consequence of his having been at 
Athens ; and because he has become the happy 
possessor of some of the worst fragments of the 
antique in this kingdom, employs a mere mason to 
put them together, and is perfectly satisfied, though 
a right foot has been most ingeniously placed upon 
a left leg! Indeed, so fond is he of the antique, 
that I have known him to order his bungler to 
match a head with the best body he could find in 
the mass of his dearly-acquired treasures, and then 
to carve new limbs to match out of those that were 
too large for other purposes, so that he might have 
precisely the same stone. He is well acquainted 
with the quarries whence the marble of such and 
such a figure was taken, and is also quite perfect 
in recollecting the names of ancient marbles. 

Mr. Nollekens informed me that the late Mr. 
Samuel Whitbread bought two fragments of antique, 
statues of him for 200, and that the man sent by 
Mr. Whitbread to pack them up for the country 
used screws instead of nails. c Why,' said Mr. 
Nollekens, ' do you use screws, when nails would 
answer every purpose?' 'Lord, sir!' exclaimed 
the carpenter, i I used screws to all the cases for 


the Piccadilly leaden figures !' The fact was this : 
a man in the Borough had purchased the greater 
number of Cheere's leaden figures at the auction 
in Piccadilly. Mr. Whitbread bought nearly the 
whole of him, and had them put up and sent to his 
pleasure-grounds, with as much caution as if they 
had been looking-glasses of the greatest dimensions 
for his drawing-room. 

The reader will probably recollect the manner 
in which Angelica Kauffmann was imposed upon 
by a gentleman's servant, who married her under 
the name of Count Horn, and the way in which 
his treachery was discovered, as related in the 
early part of this volume. Angelica, however, 
was universally considered as a coquette, so that 
we cannot deeply sympathize in her disappoint- 
ment ; and as a proof how justly she deserved 
that character, I shall give an anecdote which 
I have often heard Mr. Nollekens relate. When 
Angelica was at Rome, previously to her marriage, 
she was ridiculously fond of displaying her 
person and being admired, for which purpose she 
one evening took her station in one of the most 
conspicuous boxes of the theatre, accompanied 
by Nathaniel Dance and another artist, both of 
whom, as well as many others, were desperately 
enamoured of her. Angelica perhaps might have 
recollected the remonstrance of Mrs. Peachum, 
where she says : 

' Oh, Polly, you might have toy'd and kiss'd : 
By keeping men off you keep them on.' 

However, while she was standing between her two 


beaux, and finding an arm of each most lovingly 
embracing her waist, she contrived, whilst her arms 
were folded before her on the front of the box 
over which she was leaning, to squeeze the hand 
of both, so that each lover concluded himself 
beyond all doubt the man of her choice. 

On page 20 of Mr. Prince Hoare's ' Academic 
Annals for 1808 ' is recorded the following com- 
munication which was made to the members of the 
Koyal Academy : 

' December 23rd. In the General Assembly the President declared 
the decease of Angelica Kauffmann Zucchi. one of the Members of the 
Academy. 5 

The account of the loss of this distinguished 
artist was received in a letter from Dr. Borsi, of 
Rome, who, after relating the circumstances of her 
illness and death, which happened on November 5 
previous, proceeds to describe her obsequies, 
celebrated in the Church of S. Andrea cle' Frati, 
under the direction of the sculptor Canova and 
others of her friends. ' The church,' savs Dr. 
Borsi, ' was decorated in the manner customary on 
the interment of those of noble family. At ten in 
the morning the corpse was accompanied to the 
church by two very numerous fraternities, fifty 
Capuchins and fifty priests. The bier was carried 
by some of the brotherhood, and the four corners 
of the pall were supported by four young ladies, 
dressed suitably to the occasion. The four tassels 
were held by the four principal members of the 
Academy of St. Luke ; these were followed by the 
rest of the Academicians and other virtuosi, each 


one with a large wax-taper lighted in his hand. 
Two pictures, painted by the deceased, completed 
the procession.' 

After the death of the footman who had married 
Angelica, and to whom she had allowed a separate 
maintenance, she became the wife of Zucchi, the 
painter, but continued to go by the name of 
Angelica Kauffmann. 

Mrs. Nollekens at this time received a most 
severe and unexpected shock by the death of her 
sister, Miss Welch, with whom she had always 
lived in ties of the fondest love, paying the strictest 
respect to every observation or wish she uttered, 
according to the early advice given her by their 
mutual friend, Dr. Samuel Johnson, who generally 
spoke of Miss Welch as Miss Nancy. She died at 
Bath, and was buried in the abbey of that city, 
where an inscription was erected as follows : 

1 Sacred to the Memory of Mrs. Anne Welch, 
of Aylesbury, in the County of Bucks, 
Daughter of Saunders Welch, Esq. 
1 Admired by her friends, beloved by her acquaintance, blessed with 
distinguished abilities, she was so improved by the knowledge of 
various languages and science, that elegance of diction, beauty of 
sentiment, the majesty of wisdom, and the grace of persuasion, ever 
hung upon her lips. The bonds of life being gradually dissolved, she 
winged her flight from this world in expectation of a better on 
the 15th of January, 1810. 

'Her afflicted and affectionate sister, Maria Nollekens, in full 
assurance of their happy reunion, caused this monument to be 
erected.' 1 

I am at present ignorant of the name of the 
author of the above inscription ; but allowing Mrs. 

1 For this copy of Miss Welch's inscription I am obliged to my 
amiable friend Mrs. Gwillim. Smith. 


Nollekens to have breathed only half the feelings 
it sets forth, we shall be giving that lady credit for 
great forbearance, as her cousin, Mr. Woodcock, 
has informed me that she was much chagrined upon 
finding that her sister's house at Aylesbury, with 
its furniture, had been but a short time before her 
death willed to another person. 

I have spoken of the partiality of Nollekens for 
the Italian Opera, at which place of amusement he 
used to exhibit himself in his sword and bag in the 
pit to hear Grrassini sing, though, at the same time, 
he was so ignorant of music that he could not have 
discovered any difference between the major and 
minor keys. The portion of the performance 
which really attracted him was, I doubt not, the 
agile movements of the female dancers in the ballet. 
He was at that time so well known at the opera- 
house, that several of the military, who had an eye 
to his property, would attend him, though in their 
full uniform, to the door to see him safe into a 
hackney-coach, an expense he indulged in only 
when it rained hard. If, however, the reader be 
surprised at this, what will he say when he is 
informed that on the following morning he was 
sometimes seen disputing with the cobbler, his 
opposite neighbour, about the charge of twopence, 
and refusing to pay Crispin's demand unless he put 
three or four more sparables in the heels of the 
shoes which he had mended twice before ! 

One day Mr, Northcote the Academician, the 
best and favourite pupil of Sir Joshua Reynolds, 
had just reached his door in Argyle Street, when 


Nollekens, who was looking up at the house, put 
the following question to him : i Why don't you have 
your house painted, Northcote ? Why, it's as dirty 
as Jem Barry's was in Castle Street. I wonder 
Beverly would let him live in it !' Now, Nollekens 
had no right to exult over his brother artist in 
this way, for he had given his own door a coat of 
paint, and his front passage a whitewash, only the 
day before, and they had been for years in the most 
filthy state possible. 

Miss Welch brought down upon herself his 
eternal hatred by kindly venturing to improve him 
in his spelling. She was a friendly and benevolent 
woman, and I am indebted to her and the amiable 
Mrs. Barker for many acts of kindness during the 
time I was labouring under a tremendous loss by 
fire. One evening, when I was drinking tea with 
her at her lodgings, No. 69 in Newman Street, she 
showed me a little book in which she had put down 
Mr. Nollekens' way of spelling words in 1780, with 
the manner in which they should be written. I 
copied a few of them with her permission, which, I 
must say, she gave me with some reluctance, not- 
withstanding she disliked Nollekens most cordially, 
though they were both Catholics. The following 
instances may serve as specimens : ' Yousual, 
scenceble, obligin, modle, wery, gentilman, promist, 
sarvices, desier, Inglish, perscription, hardently, 
jenerly, moust, devower, Jellis, Retier, sarved, 
themselfs, could for cold, clargeman, facis, cupple, 
foure, sun for son, boath sexis, daly, horsis, ladie, 
cheif, talkin, tould, shee, sarch, paing, ould mades, 


racis, yoummer in his face, palas, oke, lemman, 
are-bolloon, sammon, chimisters for chemists, yoke 
for yolk, grownd,' etc. 

Let me, however, entreat my readers to believe 
that I detest the character of a critic of words, and 
that my only motive of touching upon Mr. Nolle - 
kens' ignorance in the year 1780 is to induce 
them to believe that, when he made so many 
codicils above forty years afterwards, he did not 
know the true meaning of many words that we now 
and then find in testamentary writings. A curious 
specimen or two will be given in a future page of 
this work of his ignorance of the true meaning of 
words pronounced by him, even at a moment when 
most persons believed him to be perfectly sane. 

Towards the close of one of the hottest days in 
summer, as Mr. Nollekens was returning from the 
bench placed in front of the Queen's Head and 
Artichoke as a seat for those persons whose dress 
did not appear to entitle them to accommodation 
withinside the house, he asked his man Dodimy 
Avhat charitable actions he had done lately. 
' Charity, sir ? Bless you ! it's a long time since 
you gave any.' 4 Well, then,' said his master, ' take 
the twopence out of your waistcoat-pocket that you 
had in change from the ale to that poor fellow 
walking there.' ' What, to that little man in the 
brown coat ?' ' Yes, sir, to that little man in the 
brown coat.' ' Lord bless you ! that's Dog-Jen- 
nings !' This eccentric gentleman, who was a 
person of high taste and considerable family 
fortune, received this name from his having brought 


into England an antique sculpture of a dog, with 
several other fine pieces of art, which were sold by 
auction by the elder Christie. The dog brought 
one thousand guineas, and was purchased by Mr. 
Buncombe, of Yorkshire ; but a mould of it be- 
longs to Sarti, the figure-maker, a cast from which 
makes a most noble appearance in a gentleman's 
hall. Nollekens : c What ! my old friend, Noel 
Jennings ? What the devil does he do on this side 
of the water in Marybone Fields ? Does he look 
this way ?' ' No, sir,' was the reply. c Ah, well, 
then, walk on this side ; don't let him see me. 
Why, Mrs. Palmer left him a good piece of the 
pigeon-pie last Sunday, when she made a day of it. 
I paid the coach for both of us ; and Jennings, 
according to custom, produced a bottle of cham- 
pagne.' ' I know, sir,' rejoined Dodimy ; ' I heard 
Mrs. Nollekens tell Mary all about it ; and, I can 
tell you, mistress don't half like such ramblings.' 

[2 5 6] 


The Elgin marbles brought to England Inquiries on them by a 
Committee of the House of Commons, with answers by Nollekens, 
Flaxman, Westmacott, Chantrey, Sir Thomas Lawrence, and 
President West Remarks on them by a riding-master Contrast 
of the manners of Nollekens and Flaxman Collection of medals 
made by the latterOld medals of Italy, and those by Pisano 
English medals by T. Simon French medals of Andrieu Coins 
collected by Mr. Nollekens His loss by robbery His prints, gems, 
and casts in plaster Art not hereditary. 

When Lord Elgin's marbles arrived in England, 
his lordship invited all persons of taste to view 
them at his house, the corner of Park Lane, in 
Piccadilly, now the town residence of his Koyal 
Highness the Duke of Gloucester. They were 
shortly afterwards moved to the side premises of 
Burlington House, where they remained until a 
temporary gallery could be prepared for them in the 
British Museum by Government, which had pur- 
chased them for the use of the public and the 
advancement of art. During the time these marbles 
were Lord Elgin's property, Mr. Nollekens, accom- 
panied by his constant companion, Joseph Bonomi 
a truly amiable youth, to whom from his birth 
he had intended to be a benefactor paid them many 


visits ; and, indeed, at that time not only all the 
great artists, but every lover of the arts, were 
readily admitted. The students of the Royal 
Academy, and even Flaxman, the Phidias of our 
times, and the venerable President West, drew from 
them for weeks together. 

As the mention of these marbles may bring to my 
readers the recollection of events which some of 
them may have nearly forgotten, I shall now intro- 
duce Mr. Nollekens' answers to the Committee of 
the House of Commons, contrasted with those of 
Flaxman, together with a few of those of Sir 
Thomas Lawrence and other great men of the 
highest eminence in our countrv, who were called 
upon for their opinion as to the excellence of those 
wonderful works of art : 

Chairman of the Committee. 'Mr. Nollekens, are you well acquainted 
with the collection of marbles brought to England by Lord Elgin ?' 
' I am.' 

' What is your opinion of those marbles, as to the excellency of the 
work ? ' They are very fine the finest things that ever came to this 

* In what class do you place them, as compared with the finest 
marbles which you have seen formerly in Italy?' ' I compare them 
to the finest of Italy.' 

'Which of those of my Lord Elgin's do you hold in the highest 
estimation ?' ' I hold the Theseus and the Neptune to be two of the 
finest things finer than anything in this country.' 

' In what class do you place the bas-reliefs ?' ' They are very fine 
among the first class of bas-relief work.' 

' Do you think that the bas-reliefs of the Centaurs are in the finest 
class of art ?' ' I do think so.' 

' Do you think the bas-reliefs of the frieze, representing the Pro- 
cession, also in the first class of the art ?' ' In the first class of the 

' Do you conceive those two sets to be of or about the same date ?' 
' I cannot determine upon that.' 



1 Have you ever looked at this collection with a view to the value of 
it ?'_< No, I have not. 5 

1 Can you form any sort of estimate of the value of it ?' ' I cannot 
say anything about the value.' 

'Do you think it very desirable, as a national object, that this 
collection should become public property ?' ' Undoubtedly.' 

Can you form any judgment as to the date of those works, com- 
paring them with other works that you have seen in Italy ?' 'I sup- 
pose they are about as old ; but they may be older or later.' 

1 To which of the works you have seen in Italy do you think the 
Theseus bears the greatest resemblance ?' ' I compare that to the 
Apollo Belvidere and Laocoon.' 

' Do you think the Theseus of as fine sculpture as the Apollo ?' 
1 1 do.' 

1 Do you think it has more or less of ideal beauty than the Apollo ?' 
' I cannot say it has more than the Apollo.' 

' Has it as much ?' ' I think it has as much.' 

* Do you think that the Theseus is a closer copy of fine nature than 
the Apollo ?' ' No ; I do not say it is a finer copy of nature than the 

' Is there not a distinction among artists between a close imitation 
of nature and ideal beauty ?' ' I look upon them as ideal beauty, and 
closeness of study from nature.' 

' You were asked just now if you could form any estimate of the 
value of this collection ; can you put any value upon them, compara- 
tively with the Townley marbles ?' ' I reckon them very much higher 
than the Townley marbles for beauty.' 

' Suppose the Townley marbles to be valued at 20,000, what might 
you estimate these at ?' ' They are quite a different thing ; I think 
the one is all completely finished and mended up, and these are real 
fragments as they have been found, and it would cost a great deal of 
time and expense to put them in order.' 

Tor the use of artists, will they not answer every purpose in 
their present state ?' ' Yes, perfectly ; I would not have them 

' Have you seen the Greek marbles lately brought to the Museum ?' 
I have.' 

1 How do you rank those in comparison with these ?' ' Those are 
very clever, but not like those of Lord Elgin's.' 

' Then you consider them very inferior ?' ' No ; I consider them 
inferior to Lord Elgin's not very inferior, though they may be called 

' When you studied in Italy, had you many opportunities of seeing 


remains of Grecian art ?' ' I saw all the fine things to be seen at Rome, 
both in painting and sculpture.' 

' Do you remember a piece of bas-relief representing Bacchus and 
Icarus, in the Townley collection ?' ' I recollect all those things ; I 
used to spend my Sundays there with Mr. Townley.' 

' Do you happen to recollect particularly that piece ?' ' No, I do not 
recollect it among the great quantity of things.' 

' Have you formed any idea of the value of these objects in the 
light of acquisitions to individuals, as objects of decoration, if sold 
individually ? ; ' I cannot put a value upon them ; they are by far the 
finest things that ever came to this country.' 

' Do you mean by that that you consider them so valuable that you 
cannot put a value upon them ?' ' No, I do not know : as to fine 
things, they are not to be got every day. 7 

' Do you consider part of the value of the Townley collection to have 
depended upon the cost and labour incurred in restoring them ?' 'As 
for restoring them, that must have cost a great deal of money ; I know 
Mr. Townley was there for years about them.' 

' Have the Elgin collection gained in general estimation and utility 
since they have been more known and studied?' 'Yes.' 

John Flaxman, Esq., R.A., called in, and examined. 

'Are you well acquainted with the Elgin collection of marbles?' 
' Yes, I have seen them frequently, and I have drawn from them ; and 
I have made such inquiries as I thought necessary concerning them 
respecting my art.' 

' In what class do you hold them, as compared with the first works 
of art which you have seen before ?' ' The Elgin marbles are mostly 
basso-relievos, and the finest works of art I have seen. Those in the 
Pope's Museum, and the other galleries of Italy, were the Laocoon, 
the Apollo Belvidere ; and the other most celebrated works of antiquity 
were groups and statues. These differ in the respect that they are 
chiefly basso-relievos and fragments of statuary. With respect to their 
excellence, they are the most excellent of their kind that I have seen ; 
and I have every reason to believe that they were executed by Phidias, 
and those employed under him, or the general design of them given by 
him at the time the temple was built ; as we are informed that he was 
the artist principally employed by Pericles, and his principal scholars, 
mentioned by Pliny, Alcamenes, and about four others immediately 
under him ; to which he adds a catalogue of seven or eight others, who 
followed in order ; and he mentions their succeeding Phidias in the 
course of twenty years. I believe they are the works of those artists ; 
and in this respect they are superior to almost any works of antiquity, 


excepting the Laocoon and Torso Farnese, because they are known to 
have been executed by the artists whose names are recorded by the 
ancient authors. With respect to the beauty of the basso-relievos, 
they are as perfect nature as it is possible to put into the compass of 
the marble in which they are executed, and that of the most elegant 
kind. There is one statue, also, which is called a Hercules, or Theseus, 
of the first order of merit. The fragments are finely executed, but I 
do not, in my own estimation, think their merit is as great.' 

' What fragments do you speak of ?' ' Several fragments of women 
the groups without their heads. 5 

'You do not mean the metopes?' 'No; those statues which were 
in the east and west pediments originally.' 

' In what estimation do vou hold the Theseus, as compared with the 
Apollo Belvidere and the Laocoon ?' ' If you would permit me to 
compare it with a fragment I will mention, I should estimate it before 
the Torso Belvidere.' 

' As compared with the Apollo Belvidere, in what rank do you hold 
the Theseus ?' ' For two reasons I cannot at this moment very 
correctly compare them in my own mind. In the first place, the 
Apollo Belvidere is a divinity of a higher order than Hercules, and 
therefore I cannot so well compare the two. I compared the Hercules 
with a Hercules before, to make the comparison more just. In the 
next place, the Theseus is not only on the surface corroded by the 
weather, but the head is in that impaired state that I can scarcely give 
an opinion upon it, and the limbs are mutilated. To answer the 
question, I should prefer the Apollo Belvidere certainly, though I 
believe it is only a copy.' 

1 Does the Apollo Belvidere partake more of ideal beauty than the 
Theseus ?' ' In my mind, it does decidedly ; I have not the least 
question of it.' 

' Do you think that increases its value ?' ' Yes, very highly. The 
highest efforts of art in that class have always been the most difficult 
to succeed in, both among ancients and moderns, if they have suc- 
ceeded in it/ 

1 Supposing the state of the Theseus to be perfect, would you value 
it more as a work of art than the Apollo ?' 'No ; I should value the 
Apollo for the ideal beauty before any male statue I know.' 

* Although you think it a copy ?' ' I am sure it is a copy ; the other 
is an original, and by a first-rate artist.' 

1 The Committee is very anxious to know the reason you have in 
stating so decidedly your opinion that the Apollo is a copy.' ' There 
are many reasons, and I am afraid it would be troublesome to the Com- 
mittee to go through them. The general appearance of the hair and the 


mantle of the Apollo Belvidere is in the style more of bronze than of 
marble ; and there is mentioned in the Pope's Museum (Pio Clemen- 
tino) by the Chevalier Yisconti, who illustrated that museum, that 
there was a statue in Athens I do not know whether it was in the 
city or some particular temple, or whether the place is mentioned 
an Apollo Alexicacos, a driver away of evil, in bronze, by Calamis, 
erected on account of a plague that had been in Athens. From the 
representations of this statue in basso-relievos, with a bow, it is 
believed that this figure might be a copy of that. One reason I have 
given is that the execution of the hair and cloak resembles bronze. 
But another thing convinces me of its being a copy. I had a conver- 
sation with Visconti and Canova on the spot, and my particular 
reason is this : a cloak hangs over the left arm, which in bronze it was 
easy to execute, so that the folds on one side should answer to the 
folds on the other ; the cloak is single, and therefore it is requisite 
that the folds on one side should answer to the folds on the other. 
There is no duplication of drapery. In bronze that was easy to 
execute, but in marble it was not ; therefore, I presume, the copyist 
preferred copying the folds in front ; but the folds did not answer to 
each other on one side and the other. Those on the back appear to 
have been calculated for strength in the marble, and those in front to 
represent the bronze, from which I apprehend they were copied. 
There is another reason, which is that the most celebrated figure of 
antiquity is mentioned by Pliny and its sculptor, the Yenus of Cnidus 
by Praxiteles ; and he mentions it in a remarkable manner, for he 
says the works of Praxiteles in the Ceramicus not only excel those of 
all other sculptors, but his own, and this Yenus excels all that he ever 
did. Now, it seems inconceivable that so fine a statue as the Apollo 
could have been executed without its name being brought down to us 
either by Pliny or Pausanias, if it had been esteemed the first statue 
in the world. 5 . . . 

' Do you conceive practically that any improvement has taken place 
in the state of the arts in this country since this collection has been 
open to the public ?'' Within these last twenty years, I think, 
sculpture has improved in a very great degree, and I believe my 
opinion is not singular ; but unless I was to take time to reflect upon 
the several causes of which that has been the consequence, I cannot 
pretend to answer the question. I think works of such prime import- 
ance could not remain in the country without improving the public 
taste and the taste of the artists.' . . . 

' What characteristic mark do you observe of high antiquity, as 
compared with the other works of antiquity ?' ' In the first place, I 
observe a particular classification of the parts of the body ; and I have 


adverted to the medical writer of that age, Hippocrates, and find that 
the distinctions of the body, when they have been taken from the 
finest nature, in the highest state of exercise, and in the best condition 
in all respects, which might be expected from those who possessed 
great personal beauty and cultivated habits of living most likely to 
produce it, and who were accustomed to see it frequently in public 
exercises this classification, which they appeared to prefer, is con- 
formable to the distinctions in the statues. It is well known that in 
the writings of Hippocrates a great deal of attention is paid to the 
economy of the human body and its interior parts, but that its 
exteriors are not described as our modern anatomists describe them, 
but in a simple manner by a general classification of parts and 
muscles. What I would particularly say on the subject is this: 
Hippocrates describes the edges of the ribs as forming a semicircle at 
the bottom of the upper thorax ; he describes with some accuracy the 
meeting and form of the upper part of the scapula and acromion with 
the collar-bone (that part is particularly marked in these figures) ; he 
describes the knee-pan as a single bone : and that was their manner 
of making the knee in the statues of that time ; and, if I remember 
right, he also describes the upper part of the basiu-bone, which is par- 
ticularly marked in the antique statues. In a few words, the form of 
the body has a classification of a simple kind in a few parts, such as I 
find in the ancient anatomists, and such as are common in the outlines 
of the painted Greek vases. Besides, as far as I can judge from our 
documents of antiquity the painted Greek vases, for example those 
that come nearer to the time in which these marbles are believed to 
be produced are conceived in the same character, and drawn in the 
same manner.' 

' Did not that classification continue much later than the time of 
Pericles ?' ' Yes, it did continue later, but it became more compli- 
cated, and in some cases more geometrical.' 

1 Does the anatomy of these figures agree with the anatomy of the 
Laocoon or of the Torso Farnese ?' ' They agree most with the Torso 
Farnese. I cannot judge very accurately of that at this time, for it 
was about to be removed from Rome at the time I was there, and it 
is very much broken. In respect to the Laocoon, I believe it to be a 
very posterior work, done after a time when considerable discoveries 
had been made in anatomy in the Alexandrian school, which I think 
had been communicated not only among physicians, but among artists 
all over Greece ; and in the Laocoon the divisions are much more 

' Do you observe any considerable difference in the conformation of 
the horses between the metopes and the Procession ?' ' It is to be 


recollected, both in the metopes and the Procession, that different 
hands have been employed upon them ; so that it is difficult, unless I 
had them before me, to give a distinct opinion, particularly as the 
horses in the metopes have not horses' heads. I do not think I can 
give a very decided opinion upon it, but in general the character 
appears to me very much the same.' 

1 Should you have judged the metopes and the frieze to be of the 
same age if they had not come from the same temple ?' ' Yes, un- 
doubtedly I should.' 

' Have you ever looked at this collection with a view to its value in 
money?' 'I never have ; but I conceive that the value in money 
must be very considerable, judging only from the quantity of sculpture 
in it. The question never occurred to me before this morning, but it 
appears to me that there is a quantity of labour equal to three or four 
of the greatest public monuments that have lately been erected ; and 
I think it is said either in Chandler's " Inscriptions " or in Stuart's 
"Athens" that the temple cost a sum equal to 500,000.' 

' Have you seen the Greek marbles lately deposited in the British 
Museum? 'Yes.' 

1 In what class do you place those, as compared with the basso- 
relievos of Lord Elgin's collection ?' ' With respect to the excellence 
of workmanship, the metopes and the basso-relievos of Procession are 
very superior to those in the Museum, though the composition of the 
others is exquisite.' 

1 Which do you think the greatest antiquity ?' ' Lord Elgin's ; the 
others I take to be nearly twenty years later. 1 

In what rate do you class these marbles, as compared with Mr. 
Townley's collection ?' ' I should value them more, as being the 
ascertained works of the first artists of that celebrated age. The 
greater part of Mr. Townley's marbles, with some few exceptions, are 
perhaps copies, or only acknowledged inferior works.' 

' Do you reckon Lord Elgin's marbles of greater value as never 
having been touched by any modern hand ?' ' Yes.' 

i In what class do you hold the draped figures, of which there are 
large fragments ?' ' They are fine specimens of execution, but in 
other respects I do not esteem them very highly, excepting the Iris 
and a fragment of the Yictory.' 

' Do you consider those to be of the same antiquity ? ' I do.' 

' Be pleased to account for the difference in their appearance.' ' I 
think sculpture at that time made a great stride. Phidias, having had 
the advantage of studying painting, first gave a great freedom to his 
designs. That freedom he was able to execute, or have executed, with 
great ease in small and flat works ; but as the proportions of the 


particular drawings of the figures were not so well understood generally 
as they were a few years afterwards, there are some disproportions 
and inaccuracies in the larger figures, the necessary consequences of 
executing great works when the principles of an art are not estab- 

1 Do you recollect two figures that are sitting together with the arms 
over each other ?' 'Yes.' 

* Is your low estimation of the draped figures applicable to those ?' 
' My opinion may be incorrect, and it may be more so by not having 
the figures before me ; but I meant my observation to apply to all the 
draped figures.' 

' Were the proportions of those statues calculated to have their 
effect at a particular distance ?' ' I believe not ; I do not believe the 
art had arrived at that nicety.' 

You have remarked probably those parts, particularly of the 
Neptune and some of the metopes, that are in high perfection, from 
having been preserved from the weather ?' 'I have remarked those 
that are in the best condition.' 

' Did you ever see any statue higher finished than those parts, or 
that could convey an idea of high finish more completely to an artist ?' 
' I set out with saying that the execution is admirable.' 

' In those particular parts, have not you observed as high a finish as 
in any statue that ever you saw ?' ' Yes ; and in some places a very 
useless finish, in my opinion.' 

' Do you think the Theseus and the Neptune of equal merit, or is 
one superior to the other ?' ' Chevalier Canova, when I conversed 
with him on the same subject, seemed to think they were equal. I 
think the Ilissus is very inferior.' 

' You think the Ilissus is inferior to the Theseus ?' ' Extremely 
inferior ; and I am convinced, if I had had an opportunity of con- 
sidering it with Chevalier Canova, he would have thought so, too.' 

' Can you inform the Committee whether the climate of England is 
likely to have a different effect upon the statues from the climate 
from which they were brought, and whether it would be possible, by 
keeping them under cover, to prevent the effect of the climate ?' 
' Entirely.' 

1 You know the bas-relief in the Townley collection of Bacchus and 
Icarus ?' ' Yes. 5 

1 What do you consider the workmanship of that, comparatively 
with any of Lord Elgin's bas-reliefs ?' ' Very inferior.' 

Richard Westmacott, Esq., R.A., called in, and examined. 
'Are you well acquainted with the Elgin marbles ?' ' Yes.' 


' In what class of art do you rate them ?' ' I rate them of the first 
class of art.' 

' In what rate should you place the Theseus and the River God, as 
compared with the Apollo Belvidere and Laocoon ?' 'Infinitely 
superior to the Apollo Belvidere.' 

1 Which do you prefer the Theseus or the River God ?' ' They are 
both so excellent that I cannot readily determine. I should say the 
back of the Theseus was the finest thing in the world, and that the 
anatomical skill displayed in front of the Ilissus is not surpassed by 
any work of art.' 

Francis Chantrey, Esq., called in, and examined. 

' Are you well acquainted with the Elgin marbles ?' ' I have 
frequently visited them.' 

' In what class, as to excellence of art, do you place them ?' ' Un- 
questionably in the first.' 

1 Have you ever looked at this collection with a view towards its 
value in money ?' ' I really do not know what to compare them 

' Do you think it of great importance to the art of sculpture that 
this collection should become the property of the public?' 'I think 
it of the greatest importance in a national point of view.' . . . 

Sir Thomas Lawrence, Knt., R.A., called in, and examined. 
' Are you well acquainted with the Elgin marbles ?' ' Yes, I am.' 
' In what class of art do you consider them ?' ' In the very highest.' 
? In your own particular line of art, do you consider them of high 
importance as forming a national school?' ' In a line of art which I 
have very seldom practised, but which it is still my wish to do, I 
consider that they would, namely, historical painting.' 

' Do you conceive any of them to be of a higher class than the 
Apollo Belvidere ?' ' I do ; because I consider that there is in them 
a union of fine composition and very grand form, with a more true 
and natural expression of the effect of action upon the human frame 
than there is in the Apollo, or in any of the other most celebrated 

'You have stated that you thought these marbles had great truth 
and imitation of nature ; do you consider that that adds to their 
value ?' ' It considerably adds to it, because I consider them as united 
with grand form. There is in them that variety that is produced in 
the human form by the alternate action and repose of the muscles 
that strikes one particularly. I have myself a very good collection of 
the best casts from the antique statues, and was struck with that 


difference in them in returning from the Elgin marbles to my own 

Questions sent to the President of the Boyal Academy, his health not 
permitting him to attend the Committee, with his answers thereto. 

'Are you well acquainted with the Elgin collection?' 'I am, 
having drawn the most distinguished of them the size of the original 

* In what class of art do you rank the best of these marbles ?' ' In 
the first of dignified art, brought out of nature upon uncertain truths, 
and not on mechanical principles, to form systematic characters and 
systematic art.' 

' Do they appear to you the work of the same artists ?' ' One mind 
pervades the whole, but not one hand has executed them.' 

'As compared with the Apollo Belvidere, the torso of the Bel- 
videre, and the Laocoon, how do you estimate the Theseus or 
Hercules, and the Eiver God or Ilissus ?' 'The Apollo of the Bel- 
videre, the torso, and the Laocoon are systematic art ; the Theseus 
and the Ilissus stand supreme in art.' 

' Can you compare in money value Lord Elgin's marbles, or any part 
of them, with the money value of the Phygalian or Townley col- 
lection ?' ' I judge of the Elgin marbles from their purity and pre- 
eminence in art over all others I have ever seen, and from their truth 
a ad intellectual power ; and I give them the preference to the 
Phygalian and Townley collection, most of which is systematic art.' 

The generality of my readers will be pleased 
with the following anecdote, and it must come 
home to every good rider when he mounts a horse. 
Shortly after the Elgin marbles w r ere thrown open 
to the public indiscriminately, a gentlemanly- 
looking person was observed to stand in the middle 
of the gallery on one spot for upwards of an hour, 
changing his attitude only by turning himself 
round ; at last he left the room, but in the course 
of two hours he again took his former station, 
attended by about a dozen young gentlemen, and 
there to them he made nearly the following obser- 
vations : ' See, gentlemen, look at the riders all 


round the room,' alluding to the friezes ; \ see how 
they sit ; see with what ease and elegance they 
ride ; I never saw such men in my life ; they have 
no saddles, no stirrups they must have leaped 
upon their horses in a grand style. You will do 
well to study the position of these noble fellows ; 
stay here this morning instead of riding with me, 
and I am sure you will seat yourselves better to- 
morrow.' I need hardly tell the reader that this 
person was a riding-master, and that after he had 
been so astonished at the sight of the sculptor's 
riders, he brought all his pupils to whom he was 
that morning to have given lessons in his riding- 

It was highly amusing to notice the glaring 
contrast of the two sculptors, Nollekens and Flax- 
man, whenever they came in contact in a fashion- 
able party, which I own was rarely the case. The 
former upon these occasions, who was never known 
to expatiate upon art, generally took out his pocket- 
book, and, in order to make himself agreeable, pre- 
sented his recipes, perhaps for an inveterate sore 
throat or a virulent humour, to some elegant woman 
with as much alacrity as Dr. Bossy, of Covent 
Garden fame, formerly did to the wife of a Fulham 

The latter, however, like a true descendant of 
Phidias, was modestly discoursing with a select 
circle upon the exquisite productions of Greece, at 
the same time assuring his auditors that every 
motion of the body of a well-proportioned, unaffected 
person gave sufficient opportunities for the selection 


of similar attitudes o equal grace ; that he con- 
sidered himself frequently indebted to the simple 
and unadorned charity-girl for the best of his 
attitudes, and that these he had often collected 
during his walks in the streets, when the innocent 
objects themselves had been wholly ignorant of his 
admiration of their positions. I have also often 
heard him declare that the most successful of his 
figures displayed in his illustrations of Homer, 
yEschylus, and Dante were procured from similarly 
natural and unsophisticated sources. Flaxman, like 
Rubens, took infinite delight in his collection of 
Italian medals, the best of which he fortunately 
procured during his residence at Rome. They were 
mostly of the fifteenth century, and were always 
estimated by him as the richest treasures in art 
that he possibly could possess ; and perhaps no 
man of his refined erudition felt or expressed greater 
pleasure than he did when he conversed with any 
person possessed of sufficient feeling justly to 
appreciate their superior merit. 

Mr. Samuel Henning, 1 a young artist of promising 
abilities as a medallist, asked Flaxman's permission 
to take an impression of one or two of these speci- 
mens ; upon which the sculptor, with his usual 
urbanity, not only instantly complied, but allowed 
him to mould a selection which he himself kindly 
made for him, and which he considered as the most 
interesting and beautiful of his collection. These 

1 This should, perhaps, be John Henning, the Scotch medallist 
(1771-1851), who produced a laborious restoration of the friezes of the 
Parthenon. Ed. 


consisted of Don Inigo de Davalos, the face of 
which person is of low relief, and the features are 
expressive of a man of great depth of thought and 
a superior mind ; Benedictus Depastis, a medal 
which was a great favourite with Flaxman, though 
I have frequently seen him laugh at the collops of 
fat at the back part of the neck ; Leo Baptista, 
Albertus, Victorinus Feltrensis Summus, Sigis- 
mondus Pandulfus, Cardinal de Malatestis, Sancta^ 
Romame Ecclesiae Cardin. Generalis, the hair of 
which head differs materially from the preceding 
medals, it being singularly cut in a precise straight 
line over the forehead. 

Few persons are aware of the superior excel- 
lencies of these Italian medals, which exceed all 
others in point of natural character, the beautiful 
productions of Thomas Simon excepted. Many of 
them were executed under the glorious auspices of 
Leo X. after the designs of Michael Angelo, Cellini, 
Baffaelle, Julio Romano, etc., and possess as much 
fleshiness as Chantrey's busts. 

Vasari, in his valuable work, mentions the names 
of the following medallists who flourished in his 
time, viz., Miseldone, Mathei de Pastis, Sperandei, 
and Villore ; and we find that Vittore Pisano, a 
painter of Verona, was highly celebrated as the 
chief restorer of this branch of art ; his medals, as 
well as those of his contemporaries, were first 
modelled in wax, and then cast ; and a catalogue 
of his medallic productions is given by Vasari. In 
the British Museum there is a brass medal of 
Pisano, executed by himself, which is considered as 


a rarity by collectors, it being one of those which 
were carefully worked up with the tool after they 
were cast. It displays rather a reserved set of 
features, short and close together, the nose of which 
inclines to that character commonly called the snub. 
His cap, which is an upright one with many folds, 
reminded me of that sort usually worn when I 
was a boy by the old glass-grinders of the Seven 

I also remember seeing Smollett's man Strap, 
when he was a bookbinder, living near Chelsea Old 
Church, in a similar one ; he was afterwards, for 
several years before his death, keeper of the lodge 
of Buckingham Terrace, Strand, near Inigo Jones's 
water-gate, a truly correct engraving of which is 
given in Campbell's Vitruvius. In my opinion, 
the productions of Pisano 1 are by far the most 
spirited, as must unquestionably be the case when- 
ever a painter executes a beloved task with his own 
hand. The medals by him are equal to pictures, as 
they display a fine breadth and a true character of 
nature, excellencies which a mere mechanical and 
perpetual copyist can never arrive at. How far 
more refreshing it is to a person possessing a 
moderate share of discernment to see an etching 
by Vandyke, with all its foul bitings, where the 
markings are firm and square, than an engraving by 
Vosterman or Bolswert, where every delineation 

1 I do not find Pisano mentioned in any of the dictionaries of 
painters, though I concluded Fuseli would have noticed him. Smith. 
Vittorio Pisano, called Pisanello, of Verona (1380-1456), the earliest 
and most illustrious of the medallists of the Italian Renaissance. Ed. 


is rounded comparatively to a dull, inanimate 
smoothness ! How delighted, too, is the eye of 
taste with an old impression from the uncon- 
taminated needles of Claude, Swaneveldt, Karel 
Du Jardin, or Eembrandt ! How the fretful, weak, 
and laboured engravings by French artists in the 
Poullein, the Praslin, and the Choiseul collections 
sink under the comparison when opposed to such 
treasures, delivered at once from the painter's mind 
and by his own hand ! 

So likewise it is with the works of Simon, our 
own countryman, engraved during the Usurpation ; 
that artist drew well, and his reliefs, which are low 
and broad, appear more like a fine chiaro-oscuro 
painting than sculptured productions. His manner 
of treating the hair is beautiful, and perhaps superior 
to that of every other medallist ; and nothing can 
surpass in that particular the specimens of his 
talents displayed in the head of Cromwell on the 
largest of the two Dunbar medals, and also that of 
Thomas Wriothesley, Earl of Southampton. This 
silver medal, which exhibits the Earl in a cap, is 
considered one of great rarity ; but the one in 
gold, which was purchased of Mr. Young by the 
late Barry Roberts, Esq., for the sum of twenty 
guineas, now in the British Museum, is looked upon 
as unique, not only on account of its being the only 
one known in that metal, but also from its variation 
from those in silver, the cap having been cut down 
so as to exhibit the hair without one, which the 
artist has managed in a most tasteful manner. In 
the gold impression l Tho. Simon ' is cut under the 


projection of the shoulder, which is not the case 
with those in silver. Of this medal with the cap 
there is also a bad copy, an impression of which 
may also be seen in the British Museum. It is a 
curious fact that, upon comparing the above medal 
with the circular one of Oliver Cromwell, inscribed 
c Oliverus. Dei. Gra : Keipub : Anglla. Sco. Et. 
Hib : &c. Protector. Tho. Simon F.,' the lower parts 
of the faces are so like each other that they would 
answer for either person. 

I am well aware that there are numerous col- 
lectors who prefer dies engraven in France, and 
particularly the medallions and medals struck in 
favour of Napoleon, many of which unquestionably 
possess great merit, and are worthy of high ad- 
miration ; but, in my opinion, none of them are 
equal in mind to those of Italy, produced under 
Leo X., nor do they in more than one instance in 
point of taste approach the productions of our own 
countryman, Thomas Simon. 

The one I allude to is that which was struck of 
Buonaparte to commemorate the famous battle of 
Marengo. In the first state of the die I certainly 
esteem this medal as the most beautiful performance 
of Andrieu. I was not aware of the superior ex- 
cellence of this medal in its first stage of publica- 
tion, until an old and worthy friend put me in 
possession of impressions in two states, in which 
the head differs widely, and which is, I believe, the 
only portion of that medal wherein an alteration 
has been made. At the time that the battle was 
fought Buonaparte was a thin man, and conse- 


quently the extraordinary markings of his features 
were particularly visible, and, I conclude, accurately 
attended to by the medallist. For instance, the 
eye, by not being surrounded by much flesh, is 
keen and penetrating, the nose and lips are thin, 
and, indeed, the whole of his countenance appears 
steadfastly determined upon prosecuting his inten- 
tions. In the second state of this medal the head 
and neck are so considerably enlarged that every 
feature is rounded by an increase of flesh as well 
as of years. In this state of corpulence Napoleon's 
medals were more generally collected by his 
adherents, as well as by those who had cabinets 
for the reception of such works of art ; and it is 
supposed that Andrieu, in order that this Marengo 
medal of Buonaparte should be more like him when 
Emperor Napoleon, altered the head as we find it 
in its second state. He unfortunately, however, 
suffered the name of Buonaparte to remain, never 
caring for the periodical truth of physiognomy ; 
and a distance of a few years made no difference to 
him. If an Englishman had been guilty of such a 
violation of truth, what would have been said of 
him ? and this is a more glaring instance of 
anachronism, as Andrieu has placed the counte- 
nance of his experienced and fattened hero upon 
his youthful shoulders, before he had been bloated 
by successful ambition or had gone through half 
his depredations. 

Mr. Nollekens, during his residence abroad, accu- 
mulated numerous coins, mostly the currency of 
the countries which he passed through, not with a 



view to their increasing in value, or for their parti- 
cular merit, but with the usual idea of a miser who 
is fearful of a change in affairs, or what is more 
commonly called a revolution in the country, and 
who fully relies upon the intrinsic value of gold and 
silver. He probably never dreamed of the great 
loss sustained by hoarding up foreign money, which 
seldom produces more than its weight. Had he 
sold his coins, and put the amount out to interest, 
he would have increased the principal in the course 
of sixty years to at least ten times its original value, 
and thereby have saved himself many years' vexa- 
tion for the loss of all, which he actually suffered in 
consequence of thieves breaking into his house and 
stealing all those pieces of gold and silver, together 
with Mr. Welch's silver cruet-stand, and other 
articles to a considerable amount. 

The depredators, having entered the house at the 
back-window on the staircase, went at once to the 
place where the above articles were deposited, in 
the very next room to that in which Mr. and Mrs. 
Nollekens were asleep, and let themselves out at 
the street-door, without any one of the family being 
aware of their visit till the next morning. The 
window was then discovered to be open, and the 
ladder by which they had ascended from the yard 
left to show the way by which they had gained 
admittance. It is a curious fact that, in a dirty 
book which they had dropped on their way out, 
bank-notes were found to a considerable amount by 
the person who restored them to Mr. Nollekens, 
who, whenever this robbery was mentioned, which 

GEMS 275 

there was every reason to believe had been com- 
mitted by persons connected with one of the 
numerous women who stood for his Venuses, ob- 
served that ' the rascals took away all my gold and 
silver coins, and left me all the copper ones.' These 
midnight moneyers also carried off to their melting- 
pot, after throwing away the rags in which they 
were folded, a few English silver medals of little 
value beyond their metallic gravity ; fortunately, 
there were no brass sand- moulded Pisanos in danger 
in Mortimer Street, such treasures being securely 
deposited in the choice cabinets of Flaxman. 

Mr. Nollekens now and then amused himself and 
a friend or two with his prints, but seldom spoke 
of the beauties of ancient bronzes ; and as for ex- 
patiating upon the boldness and vigour of a Roman 
medal, that with him was quite out of the question. 
It is true that he had a collection of gems, impres- 
sions mostly taken from the antique, though cer- 
tainly made with very little discrimination as to 
their superior excellence in point of art in com- 
parison with those by his contemporaries Birch, 
Merchant, and Tassie ; for he would be as highly 
pleased with an inferior imitation of an antique as 
with an original of the choicest excellence. In 
placing the various subjects in boxes, he never 
attended to any kind of classification whatever, 
since it was the same thins: to him whether thev 
were sacred or profane, and a figure of Eve or a 
Susannah was placed with that of a Lucretia or a 
Leda. His heads, though they were certainly kept 
by themselves, could boast of no better arrange- 


ment, as that of Hannibal was placed next to one of 
Flora. This mode of jumbling of eminent char- 
acters together reminded me of Lingo, the school- 
master, who, in ' The Agreeable Surprise,' 1 asks 
Cowslip, the dairymaid, if she had ever heard of 
Homer, Hercules, or Wat Tyler. 

His assemblage of plaster-casts from the antique 
had experienced very little augmentation since his 
departure from Rome, where he had purchased 
most of them at a trifling rate from the boys of 
Lucca, who at that time exhibited them for sale at 
fairs. His studio certainly could not boast of a 
vestibule of statues as large as life a most gratify- 
ing sight to the sculptor's visitors so beautifully 
displayed in the galleries of Chan trey and Westma- 
cott but, on the contrary, Nollekens' walls were 
principally covered with heads, arms, legs, hands, 
and feet, moulded from some of the most celebrated 
specimens abroad, together with a few casts of bas- 
reliefs of figures, and here and there a piece of foliage 
from the Vatican, all of which were hung up with- 
out the least reference whatever to each other. 

Nollekens paid but little attention to the pro- 
ductions of the ancients, though, indeed, I have 
seen him finish up the feet of his female figures 
from those of the statue of the Venus de Medicis, 
the English women, his constant models, having 
very bad toes in consequence of their abominable 
habit of wearing small and pointed shoes. My 

1 ' The Agreeable Surprise ' was a musical farce, by John O'Keefe,. 
brought out at The Haymarket in 1781. It was long a great favourite 
with the public. Ed. 


worthy friend, Joseph Bonomi, was sure to incur 
his displeasure whenever he discovered him study- 
ing the antique, and Nollekens would often chide 
him for not trusting more to Nature. I am, how- 
ever, perfectly convinced that if Nollekens had 
looked with more love towards the antique his 
Venuses would have been considerably benefited, 
particularly in their ankles, which in many instances 
are too thick, and certainly remind me of Fuseli's 
observation, that ' they were Goltzius' legs.' 

We seldom find hereditary succession in art, nor 
can I recollect a single instance in which the son of 
an eminent painter or sculptor has equalled the 
talent of his father ; neither have I been able to 
discover in the works of any pupil merit equal to 
that of his great master ; and I believe that it will 
be found that the artists of the highest genius have 
sprung from the lowest schools, or have arisen to 
the pinnacle of fame by their own strength of mind 
and persevering application. 

I do not mean here to insert an extended list of 
the bright living instances of a Lawrence, or a 
Wilkie, a Chantrey, a Westmacott, a Turner, a 
Stothard, a Collins, etc., in support of my position, 
but shall principally confine my assertion to other 
eminent men who have already quitted this world, 
commencing with some of foreign countries and 
concluding with those of England. Michael Angelo, 
during the time he was with his master Domenico, 
corrected one of that artist's drawings to the astonish- 
ment of all the schools. The sublime Raffaelle 
soon excelled his master, Pietro Perugino ; and 


Antonio Correggio owed all his wonderful powers 
to Nature, his master, Francesco Bianchi, being but 
of slender talent. The instructor of the inimitable 
Claude Lorraine, Agostino Tassi, merely taught 
him the method of preparing his colours ; whilst 
Claude's famous contemporary, Nicolo Poussin, had 
for his master Ferdinand Elle and L'Allement, who 
were both men of feeble abilities. How much did 
Rubens surpass his preceptors, Tobias Yerhaccht, 
Adam Van Oort, and Octavio Van Veen ! How 
wonderfully did Rembrandt exceed his tutors, 
Zwanenburg, Lastman, and Pinas ! Albert Cuyp's 
pictures eminently stand before those of his father ; 
and how far superior are the pictures of our own 
Dobson to the productions of the English artists 
who preceded him, for his master was nothing more 
than a stationer and a picture -dealer ! The im- 
mortal Hogarth was the apprentice of Ellis Gamble, 
a silversmith, who employed him to engrave arms 
and shop-bills ; and that exquisite landscape-painter, 
Richard Wilson, courted Nature alone, under every 
variety of aerial tint, and his finest pictures display 
all her sparkling sunny freshness after a summer 

Gainsborough was another of Nature's pupils ; 
and it might be said of him, as it has been said of 
Shakespeare, that he ' warbled his native wood- 
notes wild.' The portraits of Sir Joshua Reynolds' 
master, Thomas Hudson, would hardly be admitted 
into our present minor exhibitions ; and the pictures 
painted by the instructor of the late venerable Pre- 
sident West, Raffaelle Mengs, sink exceedingly low 


when they are mentioned with the works of his 
pupil. It will also be recollected that Zoffany was 
originally only a decorator of clock-dials. 

Our three most eminent engravers, too, have 
never been equalled in any part of the globe, 
though William Woollett's master, Tinney, 1 was so 
insignificant an artist that Strutt, in his ' Bio- 
graphical Dictionary,' has not thought proper to 
give the least account of him ; Sir Robert Strange's 
tutor was Cooper, 2 an obscure engraver in Scotland ; 
and William Sharp, 3 who has immortalized himself 
in his production from Sir Joshua Reynolds' portrait 
of John Hunter, was originally an engraver of 
the letters upon pewter-pots, dog-collars, door-plates, 
visiting-cards, etc., and he assured me that the only 
difference he ever had with William Byrne, 4 the 
landscape-engraver, was respecting the quantity of 
door-plates they had engraved, Sharp insisting upon 
his claim to the greatest number by some hundreds. 

1 John Tinney, a mezzotint engraver, died in Paris in 1761. Ed. 

2 Cooper was the father of Kichard, the drawing-master, who lately- 
died at Eltham. The errors into which Mr. Strutt has fallen respecting 
the two Coopers will, I doubt not, be entirely rectified by Mr. Ottley 
in his ' Dictionary of Engravers,' a work which, in the expectation of 
everyone who is acquainted with that gentleman's great accuracy and 
most extensive knowledge of the subject, will supersede all others 
hitherto published. Smith. This elder Cooper was also Richard. 
He died in 1764, and was both engraver and portrait-painter. Ed. 

3 Born in 1749, died 1824. He was one of the ardent supporters of 
Joanna Southcott. Ed. 

4 1743-1805. Ed. 



Mrs. Nollekens' new drawing-room Caleb Whitefoord's attentions 
to Nollekens Cross-readings Goldsmith's ' Retaliation ' White- 
foord's letter to his nephew Mrs. Nollekens, her servant, and her 
acquaintances Her death and funeral Subsequent conduct of 
Mr. Nollekens Mrs. Lloyd and Mrs. Paradice A Garrick play-bill 
Mrs. Lloyd's will Her death Eccentricities of Mr. Nollekens 
Mr. Barnard's Italian drawings Jernigan's lottery medal Nollekens 
and his sitters George III.'s wig The sculptor's family Bat 
Pidgeon's shop. 

Upon the demise of Miss Welch, 1 Mrs. Nollekens, 
her sister, who had been most grievously dis- 
appointed in the bequest of her household furniture, 
to the great astonishment of her friends, and par- 
ticularly of her husband, purchased articles per- 
fectly new in order to improve her drawing-room, 
which had remained for years as it was originally 
fitted up, increasing in nothing but dirt. So great 
was the change for the better, that for some time 
she only allowed her friends to take a peep in at 
the door now and then, while she held it what is 
often called ajar. Nor could she think of per- 

1 The late Mrs. Lloyd, R.A., informed Mrs. Nichols, her confidential 
domestic, that Miss Welch, after her father's death, whilst she was 
abroad, frequently travelled as a man, with sword and bag, attended 
by a man-servant only. Smith. 


mitting even her set visitors to stay the evening in 
that room, as the stupid servant had forgotten to 
light a fire in it ; so that, after they had been 
shown up, they were unavoidably obliged to be 
entertained if it might be allowed that her parties 
were ever entertained in the parlour with Nolly, 
where there had been a comfortable fire constantly 
kept up during the whole of the inclement season. 

In the summer, in order to let in a little fresh 
air, the sashes were thrown up, either to enable her 
to appear blowing the chaff from her canary bird's 
trough, or watering a delicate sprig or two of 
myrtle, which had been kindly presented to her 
by Mr. Whitefoord, whose sharp little eyes had 
been for some years so closely fixed upon No. 9, 
Mortimer Street that he never suffered a week to 
pass without inviting them by some small present 
to recollect his kind remembrance of them, and by 
way of a pretty good instance of his tender anxiety 
for the continuance of his dear Nolly's health. By 
way of proving my assertion, I here insert a copy 
of an endearing epistle shown to me by Nollekens. 
This c wine merchant ' and excellent connoisseur in 
old pictures had more prudence in sending his 
presents to a man enormously rich than to a 
fellow- creature whose frame was shivering for the 
want of a trifle to procure him a basin of broth and 
a night's lodging : 

Dear Nolly, 

' Here is a fleecy hosiery shirt for you put it on immediately, 
and also the breastplate. They will keep you warm and comfortable 
during the cold weather keep you free from rheumatism, and pro- 
long your life. 


4 1 intended to have delivered this myself, but I have not been out 

' Yours sincerely, 

4 C. Whitefoord. 
4 "Wednesday evening.' 

At this time Caleb was so constant a guardian of 
Nollekens' knocker, that no one ventured to cope 
with his wit on that sculptor's threshold, for, like 
Goldsmith's goose, 1 he stoutly kept up his right to 
the pond's side. 

4 The pond,' she said, ' was hers, and she would 
maintain her right in it and support her honour, 
while she had a bill to hiss or a wing to flutter. 
In this manner she drove away ducks, pigs, and 
chickens nay, even the insidious cat was seen to 

Advanced on the journey of life as Nollekens 
was, little did this ' cross-reader ' imagine that the 
road he was treading was straiter for him, and that 
an earlier period was fixed for his own departure 
from what most persons are scrambling for the 
good things of this life, as they are called by the 
worldly traveller. Whitefoord left us, and by his 
death, though Nollekens lost his primest of wits, 
his high reputation as a stockholder gained him a 
host of flatterers, for he was immediately and 
constantly assailed by foxes from all quarters ; and 
one considered himself sure of the prey, by inviting 
him to take a peep at a jackdaw which perched 
every morning upon a pretty almond-tree in full 
blossom, near to which he himself lay, at a short 
distance from the Metropolis. 

1 See Goldsmith's * Essay on the Irresolution of Youth.' Smith. 


Whitef oord, who never ventured abroad but with 
a full determination to be noticed, dressed himself 
foppishly, particularly so in some instances. It is 
true he did not upon trivial occasions sport the 
strawberry embroidery of Cos way, yet he was 
considered extravagantly dashing in a sparkling 
black button, which for many years he continued 
to display within a loop upon a rosette on his three- 
cornered hat, which he was sure to take off when- 
ever he considered bowing politically essential. 
The wig worn by him for years when he was at the 
summit of notoriety had five curls on each side, 
and he was one of the last gentlemen who wore the 
true Garrick cut. 1 

So delighted was Mr. Whitefoord with his 
celebrated ' cross-readings,' that he liberally dis- 
tributed among his friends specimens of some of the 
most whimsical, which he had been at the expense 
of printing upon small single sheets. As one of 
these trifles, which are now considered rarities, was 
preserved by my father, I am enabled to treat the 
reader with a few specimens, which may be con- 
sidered, by those who are not fond of long digres- 
sions, quite enough : 

4 Yesterday Dr. Pretymari preached at St. James's 
And perform'd it with ease in less than sixteen minutes.' 

1 The sword of state was carried 
Before Sir John Fielding, and committed to Newgate.' 

1 This peculiar wig, with five curls on each side, was brought into 
fashion by David Garrick, and its cut is precisely engraven by 
Sherwin in his portrait of the actor done for Davies' Memoirs. 


' Several changes are talked of at Court 
Consisting of 9,050 triple bob-majors.' 

' Removed to Marylebone, for the benefit of the air 
The City and Liberties of Westminster.' 

' We hear a treaty of marriage is concluded 
For 50 a side, between the noted Dyer and the famous Naylor.' 

1 Sunday night many noble families were alarmed 
By the constable of the watch, who apprehended them at cards.' 

An assertion has been credited by many persons 
that Goldsmith was not the author of the postscript 
now printed with his poem entitled ' Retaliation,' 
but that it was written by Caleb Whitefoord, whom 
it celebrates, and w^ho now and then endeavoured 
to imitate his manner. It may be true that the 
lines were conveyed to the editor of the fifth 
edition 1 by one of their mutual friends, and that 
they were not produced before the Doctor's death ; 
but certainly the length of praise bestowed upon 
Whitefoord in the postscript has been considered 
unconscionably long as w r ell as uncommonly great, 
especially for a man whose qualifications could 
never rank him with Burke or Reynolds. The 
author of l Retaliation,' however, thought proper 
to confine his praise of those immortal men to a 
considerably less number than eighteen lines. 

The late Charles Smith, 2 painter to the Great 

1 This edition is of 1774. The additional lines were accompanied 
by an anonymous letter, purporting to authenticate them. Curiously 
enough, although Whitefoord lived on till 1810, no further light was 
ever thrown on the subject, and in all probability he forged both lines 
and letter. Ed. 

a Born in 1749, he went to India in 1793, returned three years 
later, and died in 1824. Ed. 


Mogul, favoured me, through my worthy friend, 
Thomas Gilliland, Esq., author of the celebrated 
pamphlet of l Diamond cut Diamond,' and, I believe, 
about sixteen or seventeen others in defence and 
support of the English Government, with a letter 
which he received from his uncle, Caleb White- 
f oord, who was particularly anxious to witness his 
nephew's advancement ; and as it is in some 
instances connected with the arts, I shall here 
introduce a copy of it, leaving out two or three 
paragraphs of a private family nature : 

'Dear Charles, 

'I have intended to write to you for several days past, but 
have delayed it in expectation of a frank, which I have got at last. 

'I received your Nymph with the Infant Bacchus and a Satyr, 
which I think a very pretty picture. I also asked some Royal 
Academicians to view it, viz., Northcote, Cos way, etc., who approved 
of it much ; it is well composed, and beautifully coloured ; but the 
hangmen at the Exhibition have not hung it in a conspicuous situa- 
tion ; it is placed in the ante-room, and pretty high ; but they have 
done the same with two very pretty pictures of the President himself, 
so you must not complain. ... I have been proceeding in my canvas 
for the Associateship, and have great hopes of success indeed, it is a 
thing I have much at heart, for I wish much to see you a Royal 
Academician. Sir Joshua's pictures are not to be sold this year ; but 
in a few days Sir Thomas Dundas's collection is to come under Green- 
wood's hammer. What a pity it is that we are not rich ! 

'I am now completing the arrangement of the Octagon Room ; x but 

1 This Octagon Room, with an upper light, one of a suite in the 
Adelphi, built purposely for him by his friend Adam, was considered 
by Mr. Christie of so excellent a shape for the exhibition of pictures 
that he adopted it when he fitted up his great room in King Street, 
St. James's Square ; so that all pictures consigned to him for public 
sale are sure of receiving an equally good light. The advantage 
derived from the octagonal shape is that pictures are not continued 
up to the corners, as they most commonly are in a square room, where 
it is impossible to stand to view them to that advantage under which 


my Correggio is too fine to hang up. It is put into a handsome 
mahogany case, and kept under lock and key. 

'Mr. Barry has been to see it, and declares it to be the most 
capital picture he had ever beheld ; and I bought it at a public sale 
for 9 9s. 

1 1 am, with compliments to Sir John, 1 

' Dear Charles, yours, etc., 

*C. Whitefoord. 

' Since your worship has been gone, I have taken mightily to the 
young kitten ; she is a very clever kit-cat, and I have taken some pains 
about her education ; she skips about like a monkey, and sits up like a 

In closing these notices of Mrs. Nollekens, I 
must not forget to mention her servant, Mary 
Fairy. Her features, though tolerably handsome, 
were not equal to her figure her arms were 
excellent ; but it is pretty well known that her 
master was rather afraid of her, since she scolded 
him as well as Mrs. Nollekens, and, indeed, was 
frequently so rude to his visitors that her conduct 
appeared more like an overbearing mistress of a 
mansion than a dependent. Mr. Joseph, an associate 
of the Royal Academy, when painting the portrait 
of the Hon. Mr. Perceval from Mr. Nollekens' 
mask, taken from that gentleman's face after 
death, happened once to mention Mary Fairy in the 

they are seen when the corners of a square are brought out to form 
the octagon. Smith. 

1 Sir John Macpherson, who had been Governor of Bengal, and to 
whom Charles Smith dedicated a musical entertainment in two acts, 
entitled 'A Trip to Bengal,' to which a portrait of the author is pre- 
fixed, engraved by S. W. Reynolds from a picture painted by himself. 
This entertainment, consisting of fifty-two pages, was printed in 1 802 
for J. Ridgway, and Black and Parry, London. At the end is a 
Glossary of Hindostanee words used in the work. Smith. 


presence of Mrs. Nollekens, who, with her pre- 
cision of emphasis, said, ' Yes, sir ; she is Mr. 
Nollekens' Venus, sir.' Mrs. Nollekens was at this 
time recollecting, with tears in her eyes, that she 
had herself in former days been flattered with that 
appellation from no less a character than the 
Marquis of ^Rockingham, who observed to Mr. 
Nollekens, soon after his marriage: ' Ah, Nolle- 
kens, we now see where you get your Venuses!' 

One morning, when a fifer and drummer were 
row-de-dowing to a newly-married couple at the 
Sun and Horseshoe at the opposite house to 
Nollekens', she observed that her father, Mr. 
Welch, used to say that fifing-boys were first 
introduced in the army by the Culloden Duke of 
Cumberland. I do not recollect an earlier repre- 
sentation of a fifing-boy than that introduced by 
Hogarth in his picture of the ' March to Finchley.' 

Mrs. Nollekens' female acquaintances were not 
all equally well or wisely selected, some of them 
having been opera-singers, and others servants to 
their husbands, or in some instances worse. Upon 
this egregious want of common decorum, her late 
steady, amiable, and universally-respected friend, 
Mrs. Carter, would now and then rate her roundly, 
particularly when she perceived her to pay in- 
creasing attention to ladies for whom the world 
never cared, nor even spoke to till after their 


* You can clearly see,' she observed one day 
during a sale of choice china at Christie's, 'that 
duck-footed woman, your " dear friend," as you 


have just been pleased to call her, is not at all 
noticed by the wives of those gentlemen to whom 
her husband is known. They all shun her as they 
would a wife who had been made over to her 
husband with what her former possessor considered 
a handsome consideration. Indeed, my old friend, 
you should at all events be a little more cautious in 
your epithets, or you will at last, like her, pass 
unnoticed.' The truth was, that Mrs. Carter 
began to perceive that whenever persons of rank 
noticed Mrs. Nollekens, it was only with the 
distant condescension of, ' I hope Mr. Nollekens is 
well ?' 

Having given the reader a sufficient number of 
anecdotes concerning the manners and peculiarities 
of Mrs. Nollekens, the Pekuah 1 of Dr. Johnson's 
' Rasselas,' who will always retain a lasting seat 
among my most pleasant recollections, I come now 
to speak of her death, long previously to which her 
emaciated frame had existed without the use of its 
limbs. She was at length relieved from her suffer- 
ings in the drawing-room of her husband's house, 
No. 9, Mortimer Street, on August 17, 1817, in 
the seventy -fourth year of her age, and was interred 
in the public vault under Paddington Church, on 

1 A short time before Mrs. Nollekens' death a gentleman, in looking 
round Nollekens' studio, inquired after her health, observing that he 
had not seen her for some time. ' Oh !' answered the artist, ' she's 
bad, very bad ; she's now in bed. There's a mould of her spine down 
in that corner ; see how crooked it is.' Little did Pekuah think, when 
her elegantly-formed figure was attired in her wedding-dress, that her 
admiring husband would one day display a cast of her deformed spine. 


the 25th of the same month. The funeral was 
handsome. There were eleven mourners, namely, 
Mr. Nollekens, and Mr. Peck of the Temple (one 
of his two cousins), Mr. Woodcock (one of Mrs. 
Nollekens' cousins), Mr. John Taylor (Frank Hay- 
man's only surviving pupil), Mr. Joseph Bonomi 
(Mr. Nollekens' pupil), Mr. Gahagan (one of his 
principal carvers), etc. 

Mrs. Nollekens, who was fond of using lofty 
sentences, even upon the most trifling occasions, in 
her will styled her husband ' The sun of my life.' 
Upon this expression a literary man, who at that 
time was slightly known to Mr. Nollekens, passed 
many compliments ; though, as a reader, he might 
have known that the idea was borrowed from old 
Fuller, who says, when speaking of a female who 
had been kind to him in sickness, ' She was the 
medicine of my life.' 

Upon the death of Mrs. Nollekens, her husband, 
who had received the condolence of Mrs. Zoffany, 
Mrs. Lloyd, and other steady old friends, conducted 
himself with all possible dolefulness and customary 
propriety, pacing his room up and down with his 
hands in his pockets, and for a time, I really 
believe, felt the want of her company, deplorable 
as it had been for the last three years. However, 
many ladies stoutly maintain an opinion that very 
few gentlemen die of grief for their departed wives ; 
and that short and not very distant removals to a 
lively prospect where new faces may be seen 
generally bring about a change in the worldly 
affairs of men. And as if he had been for too 



long a time what is usually denominated ' hen- 
pecked,' Mr. Nollekens soon sported two mould- 
candles instead of one, took wine oftener, sat up 
later, laid in bed longer, and would, though he 
made no change whatever in his coarse manner of 
feeding, frequently ask his morning visitor to dine 
with him ; and I have been informed that the late 
Rev. Thomas Kerrich, principal librarian of the 
University Library of Cambridge, to my very great 
astonishment, had stomach enough to partake of 
one of his repasts. As for my part, his viands were 
so dirtily cooked with half -melted butter, mountains 
high of flour, and his habits of eating so filthy, that 
he never could prevail upon me to sicken myself at 
any one of his feasts. 

He continued now and then to amuse himself 
with his modelling-clay, and frequently gave tea 
and other entertainments to some one of his old 
models, who generally left his house a bank-note or 
two richer than they arrived. Indeed, so stupidly 
childish was he at times, that one of his Venuses, 
who had grown old in her practices, coaxed him 
out of 10 to enable her to make him a plum- 
pudding ; and he grew so luxuriantly brilliant in 
his ideas of morning pleasures, that he would fre- 
quently, on a Sunday particularly, order a hackney- 
coach to be sent for, and take Taylor, Bonomi, 
Goblet, and sometimes his neighbour, the publican's 
wife from the Sun and Horseshoe, a ride out of 
town of about ten or twelve miles before dinner. 
Now and then, however, in consequence of his 
neglecting his former cautious custom of bargaining 


for the fare before he started, he had a dispute with 
the coachman on his return as to the exact distance, 
to the no small amusement of Bronze and his brawny 
old Scotch nurse, a woman whose blotchy skin and 
dirty habits even Nollekens declared to be most 
obnoxious to his feelings, and wretchedly nasty in 
her mode of dressing his victuals. 

I must freely declare that in some respects Nolle- 
kens, aged as he was, attempted to practise the 
usual method of renovation of some of that species 
of widowers who have not the least inclination 
whatever to follow their wives too hastily. Mrs. 
Nollekens had left him with his handsome maid, 
who became possessed of her mistress's wardrobe, 
which she quickly sold and cut up to her advantage. 
Her common name of Mary soon received the adjunct 
of Pretty from her kind master himself, who seldom 
took the liberty of addressing her without it. As 
it soon appeared, however, that ' pretty Mary,' who 
had an eye to her master's disengaged hand, took 
upon herself mightily, and used her master rather 
roughly, she was one day very properly, though 
unceremoniously, put out of the house before her 
schemes were brought to perfection. 

I must not, however, quit Mrs. Nollekens without 
mentioning some circumstances of her survivor, 
Mrs. Lloyd. She now and then gave the retort- 
courteous to Mrs. Paradice, a woman she detested, 
and who once allowed her passion to overpower her 
good sense, of which in general she had a pretty 
good share ; which overflowing of her gall took 
place at Mrs. Nollekens' table when Dr. Johnson 


was present. Mrs. Paradice's figure was so neat 
and small that Mrs. Lloyd called her a sylph. 
' Better to be so,' rejoined Mrs. P., ' than to be as 
dull-looking and blind as a mole.' c Mole as I am,' 
said Mrs. Lloyd, f I never added to the weight of 
Paul Jodrell's phaeton.' ' Fie ! fie ! my dears,' ex- 
claimed the Doctor, ' no sparring ; off with your 
mufflers, and fight it fairly out !' 

At this time Miss Welch, who communicated 
this anecdote to me, frowned at Mrs. Nollekens for 
suffering her house to be made the seat of discord ; 
and that lady particularly requested Mrs. Paradice, 
for whom she entertained no high respect, to 
suspend the altercation, adding that such remarks 
were not altogether ladylike. Mrs. Lloyd, though 
she was pretty honest in what she at any time said, 
continued to bear no ill-will towards her little 
antagonist, as will appear by the following extract 
of a letter which she wrote to Mr. West in 1805 : 

' I am glad that our old acquaintance, Mrs. Paradice, got safe to 
America. Although she and I used to say unkind things sometimes 
to each other, I should have been sorry any harm had happened to her, 
as I think she has many worthy qualities ; in consideration of which, 
when she is out of my sight I like her very well, and can think of her 
with commiseration.' 

Mrs. Lloyd was so near-sighted that her nose, 
when she was painting, was within an inch of the 
canvas ; and it is astonishing, with such an in- 
firmity, about Which Mrs. Paradice exposed herself 
by ignorantly comparing her to a mole, that she 
could display such harmony in her performances. 
Her pictures of flowers, for which she was so 
deservedly famed, possess a tasteful elegance of 


composition, a clearness of colouring, and, in most 
instances, exquisite finishing. She was remarkably 
choice in the colour she used, preferring ultramarine 
upon all occasions wherever blue was required. 
My worthy friend Mr. Sharp, 1 the painter of ' The 
King, God bless him !' purchased Mrs. Lloyd's 
colour-box, in which he found a curious colour 
twisted up in one of Garrick's playbills, which, 
with his usual good-nature, he gave to me. This 
bill is valuable for more points than one, as the 
play which it announced was to be performed on 
May 7 for the benefit of the poor debtors in the 
Marshalsea Prison ; and as it has been considered a 
great curiosity by many of the numerous playbill 
collectors to whom it has been shown, I shall here 
insert a copy of it. 


Confined for Debt in the Marshalsea Prison, Southwark. 

(Being their first application of this kind.) 

Theatre Royal, in Drury Lane, 

On Monday next, being the 7th of May, 

Will be presented a Comedy, called, 


The part of Sir John Brute to be performed 

by Mr. GARRICK. 

Constant, by Mr. Havard. 

Heartfree, by Mr. Palmer. 

Col. Bully (with proper Songs), by Mr. Beard. 

Razor, by Mr. Yates. 

Lord Rake, by Mr. Blakes.' 

Lady Fanciful, by Mrs. Clive. 

Belinda, by Mrs. Willoughby. 

Mademoiselle, by Mrs. Green. 

1 Michael William Sharp, a painter of jocose and social pictures. 
He survived until 1840. Ed. 


And the part of Lady Brute, to be performed by 

Mrs. Pritchard. 

With Dancing, 

By Mons. Grandchamps, Mad. Auretti, Mr. Mathews, &c. 

To which will be added a Farce, called, 


The part of Trappolin to be performed 
Boxes 5s. Pit 3s. First Gallery 2s. Upper Gallery Is. 
Tickets to be had at the Marshalsea Prison, Southwark, and of Mr. 
Hobson, at the Stage-door, of whom places may be taken. 

On Tuesday next, Loves Last Shift. For the Benefit of Mr. Dunbar, 
Mr. Jones, Mr. Atkinson, Mr. Priehard, and Mr. Bride. 

Mrs. Mary Lloyd leaving a will which she wrote 
herself, and in which appear the names both of 
Mr. and Mrs. Nollekens, Mrs. Benjamin West, with 
her usual kindness, has enabled me to lay the 
following copy before the reader : 

1 Written in the year one thousand eight hundred and one. 

' This is the last Will and Testament of me, Mary Lloyd, widow of 
the late Hugh Lloyd, Esq. I am now residing in John Street, in the 
Parish of St. Pancras, in the County of Middlesex. First, I direct 
that all my just debts, funeral expenses, and the charges of the 
Probate of this my Will, shall be paid by my Executors hereinafter 
named. I give and bequeath unto Joseph Nollekens, Esq., of Mortimer 
Street, and Joseph Moser, Esq., of Princes Street, Spitalfields, and 
the survivor, and the executors, administrators, or assigns of such 
survivor, all my money in the public funds called the Long Annuities, 
upon trust that they the said Joseph Nollekens and the said Joseph 
Moser, or the survivor of them, or the executors, administrators, or 
assigns of such survivor of them, shall and do, during the natural life 
of my cousin Elizabeth Graham, wife of John Graham, pay and apply 
out of the interest or dividends in the Long Annuities, forty pounds 
every year to her use ; and I direct that the said Elizabeth Graham 
shall receive the dividends herself at the Bank ; and I direct that the 
said Elizabeth receive the forty pounds a year free and clear of and 
from all tax, charge, and deductions whatever ; and after the decease 
of the aforesaid Elizabeth Graham, I direct that the eight hundred 


pounds, from which the dividends of forty pounds were paid, shall be 
divided amongst the children of the said Elizabeth in equal shares, if 
she should not make a will ; but if she should make a will in favour 
of any child or children, the eight hundred pounds, after her decease, 
shall be divided according to such will ; but the money must not be 
willed by the said Elizabeth Graham to any person or persons except 
her children, unless she should survive them all ; in that case she may 
give the eight hundred pounds to whom she pleases after her decease ; 
and I direct that the said Elizabeth Graham shall not make over to 
any one person or persons the beforenamed dividends of forty pounds 
per year, but always receive the interest herself of the eight hundred 
pounds. I give and bequeath to my dear friend Mary Nollekens, the 
wife of Joseph Nollekens, fifty pounds, to be transferred to her out 
of the Long Annuities. I give and bequeath to Juliet Moser, the wife 
of Joseph Moser, fifty pounds, to be transferred to her out of the 
Long Annuities. I give and bequeath to John Graham, husband of 
Elizabeth Graham, fifty pounds, to be transferred to him out of the 
Long Annuities. I give and bequeath to Conradt Habbick, of Schaf- 
hausen, the nephew of my father George Michel Moser, twenty guineas ; 
if he should be dead, the money to be divided among my executors. 
I give and bequeath to my cousin Rachel Schewier, the wife of Jacques 
Schewier, late residing at Neuwied, twenty guineas. If the said Rachel 
Schewier should be dead, I direct the twenty guineas to be paid to her 
son ; if he should be dead, I give it to my executors. I give and 
bequeath to Elizabeth West, wife of Benjamin West, Esq., fifty 
pounds, to be transferred to her out of the Long Annuities. I give 
and bequeath to George Panbury the Elder, twenty guineas. I give 
my silver teapot, and my silver caddy, and silver milk-ewer, to Char- 
lotte Harward, the wife of Charles Harward, Esq., with my best 
wishes for her prosperity. I give and bequeath to Maria Cosway, the 
wife of Richard Cosway, twenty guineas for a ring. I desire that my 
drawings, prints, and books of prints, may be divided between Benjamin 
West, Esq., and Joseph Nollekens, Esq., and that they may make them 
into two parcels, and draw lots for them. I desire that Richard 
Cosway, Esq., may choose any three pictures he pleases. I give to 
Francis Ellis, daughter of Hugh Ellis, Esq., of Carnarvon, my ring 
with my late husband's hair ; it is set round with diamonds ; and 
twenty guineas. To the servant who lives with me at the time of 
my death I give ten pounds. 

' The residue of my fortune of every kind I give to my cousin 
Joseph Moser, Esq. 

' As I have written the above with my own hand, I am informed 


a witness is not required ; and I do constitute, nominate, and appoint 

the aforesaid Joseph Nollekens and Joseph Moser executors of this 

my last will. 

'Mary Lloyd, 

22nd Aug., 1801. 

' I request to be buried in the same grave with my late husband, 
Hugh Lloyd, Esq., if I should die in this country. 

'Mary Lloyd.' 1 

Mrs. Lloyd, who was much respected by the 
Eoyal Family, was visited by the late Queen 
Charlotte, and had also the honour to receive the 
following letter from her Royal Highness the 
Princess Elizabeth : 

'My dear Mrs. Lloyd, 

' To show you that though out of sii?ht you are not out of 
mind, I send you a very quiet, sober-coloured gown, to show you that 
you have a sincere and old friend in 

'Eliza. 2 
'Jan. 20th.' 

Mrs. Lloyd died at ten o'clock on Sunday 
morning, May 2, 1819, in the front second -floor 
room of her lodgings, No. 21, Upper Thornhaugh 
Street, Tottenham Court Road, and was buried on 
the 10th of the same month at Kensington, in the 
grave of her husband, according to her request. 

Mr. Nollekens was not very particular as to the 
material he used to render his skin clean. When- 
ever he had been modelling, a small bit of clay 
commonly answered the purpose, and, after shaving, 

1 Mrs. Lloyd, when Miss Moser, obtained the following premiums 
from the Society of Arts : 

In 1758, for a drawing, 5 5s. 

In 1759, for a ditto, 5 5s. Smith. 

2 The original is in the possession of Mrs. Nichols, who kindly 
permitted me to copy it. Smith. 

SNUFF 297 

the barber's cloth, upon which a variety of customers 
had already wiped themselves, was considered both 
convenient and economical. 

He took snuff, but seldom used his handkerchief ; 
and the custom of the common drovers was too 
often practised by him to render the assistance of 
that truly cleanly article necessary upon all 
occasions. By long experience he was convinced 
that employing the common shoe-cleaner was by 
far the cheapest mode, for that by standing over 
him when he was putting on the blacking to the 
brush he had a pennyworth for his halfpenny, so 
that when he wanted to go out two days running, 
the quantity of blacking enabled him, with a little 
moisture applied to his own shiner, to make them 
do. He chewed tobacco, it mattered not to him 
whether shag or pigtail ; and for the most part his 
supply was gratuitous by his sawyer or his polisher, 
who both kept in his good opinion by continuing 
the habit of chewing it, and they both were equally 
eager to allow their polished iron-box to shine in 
the sun whenever he came to converse with them, 
upon either the clearness or softness of the stone 
upon which they were engaged. 

Snuff was a luxury he at all times expected to 
find in the studio, and was highly pleased that the 
generality of its takers preferred rappee, and also 
that they confined their custom to the same shop 
Simpson's, in Princes Street as the varieties of 
manufacture were apt to render his nose sore. But 
it was very remarkable that at one time, when he 
was an extensive snuff-taker, he would put up with 


an early pinch of Scotch from a North Briton, who 
industriously made seven days in the week by 
attending an hour earlier and staying an hour later 
than the rest of his workmen. Nollekens certainly 
kept a box, but then if was very often in his other 
coat-pocket, an apology frequently made when he 
partook of that refreshment at the expense of 

If any one of his labourers found a feather and 
tied it to the string of the oil-bottle, to enable 
Nollekens to oil the locks, bars, bolts, and hinges 
of the doors, without wasting the oil upon a worn- 
out quill, he was delighted beyond measure. The 
man who put it there was sure to be questioned as 
to the place he found it in ; and if he happened to 
say Oxford Market, Nollekens exulted upon re- 
flecting that he stood some chance of having his 
sixpennyworth for the money the butchers exacted 
of him for exhibiting to him their house of snow. 

Nollekens had no wish to visit those gardens of 
Damascus at Kensington, shaded by lofty trees and 
adorned by fragrant shrubs, under whose refreshing 
shades he might have enjoyed the cooling breezes 
from the waters. The place in which he most 
delighted was Primrose Hill, where he was to be 
seen in the summer season, either fagging up or 
running down its heated declivities, almost destitute 
of even bramble or brier. Often have I been nearlv 
scorched to death when walking with him, as he 
invariably gave preference to the sunny side of the 
street, while his dog Cerberus, by way of a treat, 
walked in the shade. 


John Barnard, Esq., nicknamed Jacky Barnard, 
who was very fond of showing his collection of 
Italian drawings, expressed surprise that Mr. 
Nollekens did not pay a sufficient attention to them. 
' Yes I do,' replied he ; ' but I saw many of them 
at Jenkins's, at Rome, while the man was making 
them for my friend Crone, the artist, one of yonr 
agents.' This so offended Mr. Barnard, who piqned 
himself upon his judgment, that he scratched 
Nollekens out of his will. 

Walking with Mr. Nollekens to see Mr. Grignon's 
pictures, consigned to him from Rome by his 
brother Charles, just as we were going up to his 
door, No. 10, Great Russell Street, Covent Garden, 
Mr. Nollekens regretted that he had left home 
without putting the Jernigan medal into his pocket, 
as Mr. Grignon had promised to give him some 
account of it. 

What information Mr. Nollekens obtained I 
know not ; but I find that in one of Mr. Grignon's 
interesting letters to me upon my Covent Garden 
collections, he mentions it in the following words : 

'Henry Jernigan was a silversmith and Roman Catholic banker, 
residing in London, and had offices in Jermyn Street and Great 
Russell Street, and in the house in which I now reside. He had 
a lottery for jewellery which he could not dispose of, 1 and to 
those persons who were unfortunate he presented medals. The 
number of his tickets amounted to 30,000, at seven or ten shillings 

Jernigan died October 8, 1761, was buried in the 
churchyard of St. Paul, Covent Garden, and upon 

1 A large cistern of silver was the grand prize. Smith. 


his tombstone are the following lines by Aaron 

' All that accomplished body lends mankind, 
From earth receiving, he to earth resign'd. 
All that e'er graced a soul, from Heaven he drew, 
And took back with him, as an angel's due.' 

' Yon must sometimes be much annoyed,' observed 
a lady, addressing herself to Mr. Nollekens, c by 
the ridiculous remarks made by your sitters and 
their flattering friends after you have produced a 
good likeness.' ' No, ma'am, I never allow any- 
body to fret me. I tell 'em all, " If you don't like 
it, don't take it." This may be done by an artist 
who is what is usually termed ' tiled in ' ; but the 
dependent man is sometimes known to submit to 
observations, as the witty Northcote has stated, 
even from 4 nursery-maids, both wet and dry.' 
This observation occurs in a paper addressed to 
Prince Hoare, dated June 20, 1807, in an enter- 
taining work edited by that gentleman, entitled 
' The Artist.' 

Notwithstanding the professed independence of 
Nollekens, however, he not unfrequently has been 
known to appear to comply with the wishes of his 
employers, who in most instances consider they 
have an unequivocal right to maintain their ignorant 
opinions for articles bespoken by them, and for 
which they are to give cheques ; and so they cer- 
tainly have, if they confine their observations to 
their household furniture. But I must declare 
that persons of real taste and good sense are at all 
times better pleased with a work x>f art that has 


emanated entirely from the mind of a talented man, 
who has deeply studied his subject. Nollekens, I 
was about to observe, at times, like many other 
sculptors, played off the old practice by pretending 
to cut away whenever the employer pronounced a 
lip too pouting, an eye too crow-footed, or a brow 
too severe. This deception of cutting away is 
effected by the help of a little stone-dust, which the 
sculptor allows to fall gradually from his hand 
every time he strikes his chisel or moves his rasp, 
until the critic cries, c Stop, stop ! don't cut away 
too much ; that will do admirably well. Now, 
don't you see, my dear sir, how wonderfully that 
has improved it ?' 

Nollekens observed one morning, after he had 
attended Sir Joshua's lecture at the Royal Academy 
the preceding evening, that he believed all the 
deformed students in the Academy had assembled 
together upon one spot while waiting the open- 
ing of the lecture-room, since he had noticed 
Eyley, Flaxman, the two Edwards, Crone, and 

Whenever Nollekens was asked in the presence 
of his wife if he had any family, she would answer, 
pointing to his figures, ' A very great family, sir. 
All these are Mr. Nollekens' children ; and as they 
behave so well, and never make a noise, they shall 
be his representatives,' at the same time making a 
most formal curtsey to Mr. Nollekens. 

He seldom wrote long letters : Lady Newborough 
was one of the most favoured of this friends. To 
her he wrote Jong epistles ; and so ' unbosomed 


himself,' as he called it, by offering his advice about 
her domestic concerns, that she was pleased, when 
she wrote in reply, to call him her father. 

At the commencement of the French Revolution, 
when such immense numbers of priests threw them- 
selves upon the hospitality of this country, Nolle - 
kens was highly indignant at the great quantity of 
bread they consumed. ' Why, do you know, now,' 
said he, ' there's one of 'em living next door but 
one to me that eats two whole quartern loaves a 
day to his own share ! and I am sure the fellow's 
body could not be bigger if he was to eat up his 

Whenever Nollekens crossed the water he always 
carried the money the waterman was to have for 
his fare in his mouth : he kept it between his teeth, 
not in imitation of Egyptian mummies, whose 
mouths held a piece of gold to pay old Charon his 
fare, but in order that he might not, in getting out 
of the boat, lose his money by taking more out than 
he wanted. 

He never suffered his tenants to remain long after 
their rents were due without reminding them how 
matters stood ; and when he applied by letters, he 
stated that a quarter's rent was due on November 10 
last, for which he requested payment to be made 
on or before Thursday next, by twelve o'clock at 
noon, having occasion for a sum of money. Of 
late years, however, in consequence of his having 
so many houses, he employed an agent to collect 
for him, so that, at all events, his bodily fatigue 
was lessened. 


Mr. Browne, 1 one of Nollekens' old friends, after 
having received repeated invitations to l step in and 
take pot-luck with him,' one day took him at his 
word. The sculptor apologized for his entertain- 
ment by saying that, as it was Friday, Mrs. Nolle - 
kens had proposed to take fish with him, so that 
they had bought a few sprats, of which he was 
wiping some in a dish, whilst she was turning others 
on the gridiron. 

One day, when Mr. Nollekens was walking in 
Cavendish Square, attended by his man Dodimy, 
he desired him to take up some sop which a boy 
had just thrown out of a beer-pot, observing that it 
would make a nice dinner for his dog Cerberus. 
c Lord, sir ! I take it up !' exclaimed Dodimy. 
1 What, in the sight of your friends, Lord Bes[s]- 
borough and Lord Brownlow ? See, sir, there's 
Mr. Shee looking down at you. No, sir, I would 
not do it if you were even to scratch me !' When- 
ever Dodimy displeased his master he commonly 
threatened to scratch him, meaning out of his 
will, which he finally did, and gave his intended 
annuity of 30 to his principal assistant, Mr. Gob- 
let, as the long promised provision for himself and 
family ! 

As I have given so many instances of the mean- 
ness of the wealthy sculptor, I should feel very con- 
siderable regret if I omitted to record any act of 
his which bears the least appearance of liberality ; 

1 The late Mr. Browne was father to George Howe Browne, Esq., 
the highly -respected Secretary to the Westminster Fire -Office. 


and it gives me pleasure to say that I have been 
assured by Mr. Turner, the Eoyal Academician, 
that when he solicited Mr. Nollekens for his sub- 
scription to the Artists' Fund, he inquired how 
much he wanted from him. c Only a guinea,' was 
the answer ; upon which the sculptor immediately 
opened a table -drawer and gave Mr. Turner thirty 
guineas, saying, c There, take that.' Mr. Bailey, 1 
the Royal Academician, was also equally surprised 
when he applied to him on behalf of the Artists' 
Society, to which he is a subscriber. And yet this 
man was continually exercising his thoughts to 
devise the cheapest meal he could possibly take ; 
and has been seen disputing with a half-starved 
and slipshod cobbler because he refused to put a 
few more nails in his ^hoes, having entered into an 
agreement to pay him the sum of twopence for their 
mending ! 

As a piece of topographical gossip relative to an 
old house, the fame of which has been perpetuated 
in the Spectator, I shall close the present chapter 
with the following information touching the re- 
nowned shop of Bat Pidgeon. 

Mr. Nollekens informed me that his mother took 
her children to have their hair cut at the Three 
Pigeons, in the Strand ; and having heard my 
friend Mr. Sheldrake state that that shop had been 
the one formerly kept by the famous Bat Pidgeon, 
I begged of him to favour me with what he knew 

1 Edward Hodges Bailey, the sculptor (1788-1867), a pupil and 
imitator of Flaxman. Ed. 


about it, and the following letter is the result of 
my inquiry : 

1 January 18, 1823. 
'Dear Sir, 

' I well remember Bat Pidgeon's house in the Strand ; it was 
nearly opposite Norfolk Street. It bore a sign of Three Pigeons, 
underneath which was written, "Bat Pidgeon"; beneath which was 
another inscription, "late Bat Pidgeon." 

'Since our conversation I have examined the spot; the original 
brickwork of the house is there, but the shop-front has been 
modernized. The house is now numbered 277, and is inhabited by 
Mr. Wilson, manufacturer of ornamental bair, etc. I talked with Mr. 
Wilson, who has no knowledge of his ancestors, if I may so call them, 
but said he well knows that his house bore the sign of " The Three 
Pigeons." I remember them and the inscriptions many years of my 
early life, long after the year 1770, but I cannot recollect the names 
of Bat's successors. 

'I enclose Mr. Wilson's card, which will lead you to the house. 
'I am, dear Sir, 

1 Yours sincerely, 

' T. Sheldrake. 
'J. T. Smith, Esq.' 




Mr. Nollekens' confessor Description of the sculptor's house, paint- 
ings, etc. His indifference towards religion and sacred subjects in 
art Decoration of churches and exhibition of Westminster Abbey 
Mr. Nollekens and Sir William Staines Anecdotes of Biagio 
Rebecca The Pond family Anthony Pasquin Canal excursions 
Mrs. Lobb and living models Mr. Nollekens' visit to the British 
Museum Recollections of his manners, etc. Eccentricity in persons 
of eminent talent The advantages of greatness Mr. Nollekens and 
his patrons and visitors. 

Mr. Nollekens was in possession of a set of those 
extremely rare engravings from the Aretin subjects, 
so often mentioned by print-collectors ; but it so 
happened, as he was glancing at them one day, that 
his confessor came in, who insisted upon their being 
put into the fire before he would give him absolu- 
tion. I once saw them, and he lent them to Cos way 
to make tracings from them. However, this loan 
Cos way stoutly denied, which when Nollekens 
heard, he exclaimed : ' He's a damned liar ; that 
everybody knows ! And I know this, that I could 
hardly get them back again out of his hands.' 
Upon Nollekens being asked how he, as an artist, 
could make up his mind to burn them, he answered, 
c The priest made me do it ;' and he was now and 
then seen to shed tears for what he called his folly. 


He was frequently questioned thus : ' Where did you 
get them, sir ? Whose were they ?' His answer 
was : c I brought them all the way from Rome.' 

The rigid economy and eccentricity of Mr. 
Nollekens were scarcely more remarkable in his 
person and manners than in his dwelling, of which 
I shall now give the reader a short description. 
The kitchen was paved with odd bits of stone, close 
to the dusthole, which was infested with rats. The 
drains had long been choked up ; and the windows 
were glazed with glass of a smoky-greenish hue, 
having all the cracked panes carefully puttied. 
The shelves contained only a bare change of dishes 
and plates, knives and forks just enough, and those 
odd ones, the handles of which had undergone a 
4 sea-change,' from a gray pea-green tint to the 
yellow tone visible in an overgrown cucumber. 
No Flanders-brick was ever used to them, a piece 
of true English was preferred, and brought to 
Bronze from Marylebone Fields by her master. 
Nor was the sink often stopped with tea-leaves, 
since they were carefully saved to sprinkle the best 
carpet, to lay the dust, before it was swept. The 
remainder of the furniture consisted of a flat 
candlestick, with a saveall ; but for snuffers Bronze 
used her scissors, or indeed, upon most occasions, 
her fingers. Of the dining and sitting-parlour, the 
description will be familiar to many of the most 
elegant, witty, and noble characters of the country 
who have been sitters for their busts to Mr. 

That which we will call the dining, sitting, and 


sitters' parlour, was the corner room, which had 
two windows looking south, the entrance to it 
being on the right hand in the passage from the 
street door in Mortimer Street. The visitors will 
recollect that over the chimneypiece there was a 
three-quarter portrait of the sculptor himself, with 
a modelling-tool in his hand, leaning with his right 
elbow upon the bust of the Hon. Charles James 
Fox, the execution of which brought him both 
reputation and profit. 

The artist's modelling-stool was placed near the 
street-door window, and the sitter's chair nearer 
the door, whilst facing the window there were 
several small models of Venus upon the chimney- 
piece, over which, and under his own portrait, hung 
three miniatures, one being of Sir Joshua Reynolds, 
by Edridge, taken from the picture in the club- 
room in the Thatched House Tavern, St. James's 
Street. The other two were of Mrs. Nollekens and 
Miss Welch, painted by Smart, 1 all of which were 
presented by the artists. 

Between the chimney and the corner window 
hung two beautiful impressions, one of Michael 
Angelo's ' Last Judgment,' by Martin Rota, and the 
other, Raffaelle's ' St. Cecilia,' by Marc-Antonio, 
both from the Blackburn Collection. On the 
closet-door was suspended a beautiful picture of 
flowers, by Deheim, which had been the property 
of Miss Moser, and for which Mr. Nollekens said 
he gave her forty guineas ; and nearer the window 
hung a drawing of Cupid and Psyche,' by Tresham, 

1 John Smart, the elder (1740-1811). Ed. 


with another portrait of Noliekens drawn by Smart. 
This drawing is now in the possession of Mr. 
Taylor, to whom Mr. Noliekens had formerly 
promised it. 

For many years two pieces of old green canvas 
were festooned at the lower parts of the windows 
for blinds, but of late a pretty good glass was 
placed against the pier. On the west side of the 
parlour, from the window to the north of the room, 
hung Mr. Taylor's drawing of Mr. Pitt's statue in a 
black frame, which almost destroyed its effect ; 
and over it were two pictures, one of Nymphs, by 
4 Old Noliekens,' the other was of a dog, by Stubbs. 
Under these appeared the print of ' Three Marys,' 
after Carracci ; and close in the corner by the 
window upon a bracket was placed a small copy of 
RafFaelle's model of Jonah ; whilst between the 
door and the north end was a small picture with 
sheep, by Bourgeois ; and at the north end, also 
upon a bracket, stood a small copy of Michael 
Angelo's figure of Moses. 1 

On the north side of the room hung two land- 
scapes, drawn and presented by Gainsborough ; two 
drawings by Zoffany, also presentations ; a drawing 
by Mr. Taylor of Mr. Noliekens' monument to the 
memory of Mrs. Howard, of Corby, and a drawing 
from Cipriani were suspended against the door. 
Near these were a picture of flowers, by Mrs. 
Lloyd, and a portrait of Mr. Welch, by Brompton ; 2 

1 Casts of the magnificent originals of these statues are now ex- 
hibiting by Mr. Day in the Egyptian Hall, Piccadilly. Smith. 

2 Richard Brompton, portrait painter to the Empress Catharine. 
He died in St. Petersburg in 1782. Ed. 


beside which hung Barry's picture of ' The Origin 
of Music.' On each side of the chimney was a 
drawing by Paul Sandby ; and close to the fire- 
place, though rather out of sight, hung two bits of 
slate dangling upon a nail, on which Mr. and Mrs. 
Nollekens kept their separate memoranda of the 
day's expenditure, for they kept distinct accounts 
against each other, as to letters, porters employed, 
or things purchased for the house, etc. Near the 
corner window was a closet, in which were placed 
candles though, as for soap, Bronze declared the 
house had never known any for forty years and a 
few preserves, pickles, or other little presents from 
persons who had great expectations. Caleb White- 
foord's wine also found a safe depository in this 
closet, together with an uncut loaf, or a bit of fresh 
butter, a little scalded milk, a paper containing the 
academic nutmegs, fragments of string, and old 
screws and nails, which were picked up as things 
that might be wanted some time or other. 

The drawing-room contained a three-quarter 
portrait of Mrs. Nollekens, as ' Innocence with a 
Dove,' painted by her friend Angelica Kauffmann ; 
on the chimneypiece were several models, par- 
ticularly the one of Mercury, 1 for which I was 
standing when Mr. Taylor smelt the leg of pork. 
There were also three landscapes by Wilson, two 
of which had been painted for Mr. Welch, and 
came to Mrs. Nollekens at the death of her sister ; 
a picture by West, four friezes by Bartolozzi, after 

1 This was promised me by Mr. Nollekens ; however, I purchased 
it at the sale of his property. Smith. 


Cipriani, and a drawing by Clarisseau, which hung 
against the door. This room was decorated with 
some of the furniture of Mrs. Nollekens' mother. 

Mr. Welch's library, which also descended to 
Mrs. Nollekens, was closely locked up in a small 
back-room, where she had deposited eleven hundred 
guineas. They were accumulated after the one 
and two pound notes were issued, for Mrs. Nolle- 
kens, not trusting in the safety of paper currency, 
prevailed upon most of her tenants to pay her in 
gold ; which request she walked all the way to Mr. 
Alderman Combe's brewhouse to make as to the 
payment for a house rented of her by that firm in 
Drury Lane. These guineas she would look over 
pretty often, and weigh in her hands against each 
other, partly from the enjoyment she felt in 
counting her wealth, and partly to discover if 
anyone had been deceiving her with coin short 
of weight. Her feeling of delight in this occu- 
pation is not unhappily expressed in the following 
lines : 

1 As these alternate poising in each hand, 
He cries, " This doth no no this weigheth most 
By half a grain or so ; and half a grain 
Of gold is something worth I'd buy me scales, 
But scales cost money ; so I must do without 'em." ' 

I very much fear that Mr. Nollekens had no 
innate love of religion, nor ever dedicated much 
time to devotion. He was a Roman Catholic 
because his father had died in that faith ; but his 
attendance at Warwick Street Chapel, and subse- 
quently at the one in Sutton Street, Soho Square, 


was confined, I am sorry to say, to fine Sunday 
mornings ; his regard to Christianity on a rainy 
day never extended beyond his own threshold ; nor 
was he, according to Bronze's assertion, ever known 
to be in private meditation. He now and then, 
however, according to the custom of an observant 
Catholic, received visits from a priest, who con- 
fessed him and gave him absolution. He was never 
known to give money to benefit the Roman Church, 
but at times he has certainly been seen to extend 
his charity to a mendicant at the door of the chapel, 
who cunningly moved him by soliciting alms in the 
name of St. Francis, the favourite saint of Antwerp, 
the native city of his father. 

In the course of my long acquaintance with his 
pursuits in art, I never saw a single model by his 
hand of our Saviour, the Virgin Mary, nor even 
St. Francis ; nor do I believe, during his long 
practice, that he has once erected a monument to 
which the cross has been attached ; no doubt he 
would have been employed by many of the Catholic 
profession had he applied to them ; though perhaps 
it was owing to his careless inattention to his duty 
that those of his own persuasion did not employ 
him. Whenever Mr. Nollekens spake of the Bible, 
he did not appear to have a general knowledge of 
its contents, nor do I recollect his selecting a subject 
for the exercise of his art from Holy Writ ; and, 
even farther, I never once heard him observe that 
such and such a subject would model well. 

How different, on the contrary, was the pious mind 
of Flaxman ; for though he was passionately fond 


of Homer, and other authors never noticed by 
Nollekens, he was never more delighted than when 
he was engaged upon sacred subjects, as witness 
his noble designs from the Lord's Prayer ; for how 
sweetly, and, I was going to say, in how heavenly 
a manner he has treated them ! I will venture to 
assert boldly in the face of the unbeliever who may 
laugh at this page, that if our churches were 
decorated with sculptured subjects taken from the 
best and oldest book in the world, their religious 
sentiments would be much more strongly excited 
when in a place of public worship than by the filthy 
exhibition of General Monk's cap, the shoe-buckles 
worn by Lord Nelson, or a favourite i Poll Parrot ' 
of the deceased ladv, ' modelled ' as the showmen 
of the Abbey are pleased to tell the gaping visitors, 
L as naturally as life !' 

I sincerely hope, however, that a time will come 
when Westminster Abbey, and all other buildings 
dedicated to sacred purposes, will be cleared of such 
mummery and laid open to the free inspection of 
the public, who may walk about such noble edifices 
and see the works of ancient and modern art with- 
out being invited to pay for the exhibition of wax- 
work and models of churches which have nothing 
whatever to do with the edifice itself ; indeed, the 
former were better destroyed, and the models pre- 
sented to the Society of Arts. I will also ask the 
inquiring reader whether it be fair that the public 
should be obliged to pay for a sight of those monu- 
ments which the Government has so liberally 
erected to perpetuate the memory of those to whom 


they have been inscribed ? I speak as an artist, 
my present theme being principally upon works of 
the sculptors of them. The doors should be opened 
for certain hours daily, so that the public might see 
how extensively liberal, particularly of late years, 
the nation has been in voting monuments to the 
memory of men of departed genius, and more 
especially to those military and naval victors who 
have so nobly shed their blood and fallen in their 
country's service. 

To view the Abbey of Westminster unencum- 
bered of its waxen effigies would be a gratification 
for many a morning ; and the servants, instead of 
expecting a few pence for their own pockets, might 
still be employed to walk about to see that no 
mischief was done to the treasures of that venerable 
structure. 1 Surely it would be far better were a 
man to be thus healthfully exercised than to shut 
him up in a small recess at the entrance of Poets' 
Corner, where now the contribution is demanded, 
and where he closes upon the visitor, as a pair of 
snuffers top the wick of a candle, and as if the 
money-taking business, according to the custom of 
a playhouse, was to be looked after first. Now, I 
will venture to say that a regular citizen never calls 
upon anyone for payment before sight ; nor do the 
servants of the very few high families which still 
suffer their domestics to take money expect to 
receive what the visitors choose to give them before 

1 I must, however, add that I should like to see the curious old iron- 
work put up again which inclosed the most ancient monuments in the 
Abbey. Smith. 


they are attended back to the portal. Again, I will 
ask this question, How far is the London investi- 
gator of religious structures to go before he meets 
with anything to be compared with such a specimen 
of sacred architecture as Westminster Abbey, 
mutilated and metamorphosed as it has been ? St. 
Albans Abbey, I believe, is the nearest to the 

When Nollekens once had occasion to visit the 
Church of St. Giles, Cripplegate, he asked me to 
walk with him ; and as we entered Jewin Street we 
met Sir William Staines, who informed him of 
his having been chosen Mayor, and that he should 
send him a ticket for the civic dinner. Nollekens: 
c Dinner ! bless your heart, I'd rather dine at home ; 
you citizens make such a noise, and I get my clothes 
spoiled. You've seen me in my Pourpre du Pape, 
and do you know, that at our last Academy dinner 
a stupid fool spilt the butter-boat upon it ? Have 
you any comforts in your pocket ? I've got such 
a cold ! Now, pray tell me, will they let you 
smoke your pipe in the Mayor's coach ?' Staines : 
' Bless you ! I don't mean to attempt such a thing ; 
but when I'm in my private carriage they can't 
hinder me ; then if they offer it, I'll take them up ! 
Have you bought any stone lately ? I've some very 
close Yorkshire.' Nollekens : c No, I don't want 
any.' Staines : ' Well, then, you won't dine on my 
day ?' Nollekens : i No ; but I suppose my friends, 
Sir William Beechey and Sir Francis Bourgeois, 
will be there. Well, good-bye ; I am going into 
the church.' Staines: 'What, into our church? 


Stay, I'll save you a shilling. I'll ring the bell for 
Mrs. Richardson, the sexton's wife. Oh, here she 
comes. We want to 2:0 into the churchyard ; I 
want to show my wife's tombstone to Mr. Nollekens 
and his friend.' Mrs. Richardson : ' Do you know, 
Sir iWilliam, there's a corner off ?' ' Ay, I am 
sorry for it ; I had the largest I could get for 
money, and, as I am a dealer in stone, you see, I 
had a little pride about me on that occasion.' 
Nollekens : c What a thick one it is ! why did you 
waste so much stone ?' Staines : ' That's the 
reason ; I was determined to have the thickest for 
its size that ever came to London ; it measures 
nine feet eight inches in length, by seven feet three 
inches and three-quarters in width.' 

I was present one morning when Mr. West was 
sitting to Nollekens for the bust which the British 
Institution had honoured him by ordering for their 
gallery, when, among other anecdotes, the President 
related the following of Biagio Rebecca, 1 an artist 
principally employed in painting staircases and 
ceilings with allegorical subjects in arabesque decora- 
tions, formerly much in fashion in England, 
Mortimer, Cipriani, Angelica Kauffmann, Zucchi 
Hamilton, and many other eminent artists being 
often engaged upon such works : George III. had 
commanded Rebecca to adorn some of the royal 
apartments at Windsor, during which employment 
his Majesty, with his usual affability, would fre- 
quently converse with him ; but in such conversa- 

1 Biagio Rebecca was born in Italy in 1735, became an A.R.A., and 
died without further promotion in 1808. Ed. 


tions the artist, who was not a little conceited of his 
talents, attempted to conduct himself in the presence 
of his Majesty as Verrio did before Charles II., 
being so silly as to believe that his conduct would 
be laughed at by the condescending monarch. In 
this, however, the impudent Kebecca was mistaken, 
for whenever he was guilty of the slightest im- 
propriety of that kind the King never failed to 
mention it to Mr. West. 

One day, at Windsor, after Rebecca had received 
a considerable sum of money, he proposed to share 
the expense of a postchaise to London with Mr. 
West ; and just as they reached Hounslow Heath 
the King, who was returning to Windsor, looked 
into their chaise. The next time Mr. West was 
in the royal presence, the King asked him who the 
foreign nobleman was that he had in the chaise 
with him the last time they met on Hounslow 
Heath. Mr. West declared Rebecca was his only 
companion. ' Oh no,' observed his Majesty ; c it 
was a person of distinction.' Mr. West, upon 
inquiry, found out that Rebecca, who expected 
to meet the King, and knew his Majesty to be near- 
sighted, had the impudence to fix a paper star on 
his coat, which he had cut out for the purpose of 
attracting the King's notice, supposing that he 
would certainly laugh at it as a jest. 

Rebecca, being fully aware of the great fondness 
people in general have for money, would, in what- 
ever company he was, pass his jokes, purposely to 
amuse the frivolous part of them, and the following 
trick in particular he was sure to practise : He had 


prepared a drawing in imitation of a half-crown 
piece, which he would unobservedly place upon the 
floor, and then laugh immoderately at the eager- 
ness with which even a gentleman in full dress, 
with his sword and bag, would sometimes run and 
scuffle to pick it up. 

One day I was standing with Mr. Nollekens at 
his gate in Titchfield Street, when a man, with full 
staring eyes, accosted him with : ' Well, Mr. Nolle- 
kens, how do you do ? You don't remember me ; 
but you recollect my grandfather, Arthur Pond.' 1 
' Oh yes, very well ; he used to christen old draw- 
ings for Hudson ay, I have often seen him when I 
was a boy.' The same,' observed the stranger ; 
4 my name's John, commonly Jack ; his son, my 
father, was a livery- stable keeper, 2 and so Anthony 
Pasquin 3 always called me " Horse Pond." Of 
this man's sister there is a mezzotinto head, nearly 
as laro:e as nature, drawn and engraved from the 
life by John Spilsbury, and published by him 

1 The painter and engraver (1705-1758). Ed. 

2 This stable-keeper was the compiler of the Racing Calendar.' 

3 Many persons know that Anthony Pasquin's real name was 
Williams, but I believe very few are aware that he had been articled 
to learn the art of engraving of Matt. Darley, of the Strand, the 
famous caricaturist. A particular friend of mine has a set of coat- 
buttons, upon every one of which Anthony engraved a boat, as the 
badge of a member of a club entitled ' The Sons of Neptune,' con- 
sisting of youths who strictly observed the Lord Mayor's rules of 
Swan-Upping, for the enjoyment of the scenery of the banks of Old 
Father Thames, confining the stretch of their oars from Wapping Old 
Stairs to the Bush at Staines. Smith. 'Anthony Pasquin's ' name 
was John Williams. He was a pungent critic of contemporary art. 
He died in the United States in 1818. Ed. 


December I, 176G, then living in Russell Court, 
Co vent Garden. This female has been celebrated 
by Dr. Johnson, in his ' Idler,' as the lady who rode 
a thousand miles in a thousand hours. I have a 
portrait of her in her gray hairs, which I drew 
when I was studying the various expressions of 
insane people in Bethlem Hospital, of which insti- 
tution she was an unfortunate inmate. An engraver 
of the name of Smith published in 1787 a quarto 
portrait of the above John Pond, who being notorious 
for nothing but getting drunk, it did not sell ; but 
in order to make it answer his purpose, he, to the 
great annoyance of Dr. Wolcot, erased the name of 
John Pond, and substituted that of Peter Pindar, 
without making the least alteration in the features 
or person, when in a few days he distributed im- 
pressions in the shop-windows all over the town, 
and many a portrait-collector has ' enriched ' his 
book with it, as the true and lively ef^gy of the 
man who cared not whose character he traduced. 

I ought to have noticed in a former page that, 
when it was customary for so much company to 
visit Uxbridge by the barges drawn by horses 1 
gaily decked out with ribands, Mr. and Mrs. 
Nollekens, with all the gaiety of youthful extrava- 
gance, embarked on board, and actually dined out 
on that gala-day at their own expense. The sights 
they saw on this memorable aquatic excursion 
afforded them mutual conversation for several 
weeks ; and Mrs. Nollekens actually tired her 
friends with letters upon their canal adventures 

1 The Grand Junction Canal was opened to Uxbridge in 1801 ? Ed. 


from Paddington to Uxbridge, and from Uxbridge 
to Paddington. In these epistles she most poetically 
expatiated upon the clearness of the water, the 
fragrance of the flowers, the nut-brown tints of the 
wavy corn, and the ruddy and healthful com- 
plexions of the cottagers' children, who waited 
anxiously to see the vessel approach their native 
shores. The only fatigue was the hasty walk from 
Mortimer Street to Paddington, and the loitering 
return from Paddington to Mortimer Street, where, 
soon after their arrival, they refreshed themselves 
with an additional cup of tea, and for that evening 
indulged in going to bed before sunset. 

The pleasures of a similar excursion induced the 
late venerable President West to paint a picture of 
the barge he went by, on the crowded deck of which 
he has introduced his own portrait, and also those 
of several of his friends who were that day on 
board. This pleasing and singular picture adorns 
the splendid gallery of West's works, daily exhibit- 
ing at his late house in Newman Street. 

These excursions to Uxbridge were, like many 
other fashionable entertainments, soon laid aside. 
Air-balloons were also formerly much sought after ; 
but now on a summer's afternoon, if one be 
announced, few people will turn up their eyes to 
look at it. And steamboats, which have engaged 
the thoughts of the aquatic travellers, are already 
talked of with indifference, since a steam stage- 
coach 1 is about to start without horses. 

1 This ran several times from Hyde Park Corner to Reading and 
back, but did not prove a success. Ed. 


One May morning, during Mrs. Nollekens* 
absence from town, Mrs. Lobb, an elderly lady, in 
a green calash, from the sign of the Fan, in Dyot 
Street, St. Giles's, was announced by Kit Finney, 
the mason's son, as wishing to see Mr. Nollekens. 
' Tell her to come in,' said Nollekens, concluding 
that she had brought him a fresh subject for a 
model just arrived from the country ; but upon 
that lady's entering the studio, she vociferated 
before all his people : 4 1 am determined to expose 
you, I am, you little grub !' c Kit !' cried Nollekens, 
6 call the yard-bitch,' adding, with a clenched fist, 
that ' if she kicks up any bobbery here I will send 
Lloyd for Lefuse, the constable.' ' Ay, ay, honey !* 
exclaimed the dame, ; that won't do. It's all mighty 
fine talking in your own shop. I'll tell his Worship 
Collins, in another place, what a scurvy way you 
behaved to young Bet Belmanno yesterday ! Why, 
the girl is hardly able to move a limb to-day. To 
think of keeping a young creature eight hours in 
that room, without a thread upon her, or a morsel 
of anything to eat or a drop to drink, and then to 
give her only two shillings to bring home ! Neither 
Mr. Fuseli nor Mr. Tresham would have served me 
so. How do you think I can live and pay the 
income-tax ? Never let me catch you or your dog 
beating our rounds again ; if you do, I'll have you 
both skinned and hung up in Rats' Castle. 1 Who 

1 ' Rats' Castle,' a shattered house then standing on the east side of 
Dyot Street, and so called from the rat-catchers and canine snackers 
who inhabited it, and where they cleaned the skins of those un- 
fortunate stray dogs who had suffered death the preceding night. 



do you laugh at ?' she continued, at the same time 
advancing towards him. c I have a great mind to 
break all your gashly images about the head of 
your fine miss, in her silks and satins ' mistaking 
his lay-figure for a living model of the highest 
sort. ' I suppose you pay my lady well enough, 
and pamper her besides !' 

Nollekens, perceiving Mrs. Lobb's rage to 
increase, for the first time, perhaps, drew his purse- 
strings willingly, and, putting shilling after shilling 
into her hand, counted four and then stopped. 
4 No, no,' said she ; ' if you don't give me t'other 
shilling, believe me, I don't budge an inch!' 1 This 
he did ; and Kit, after closing the gates, received 
peremptory orders from his master to keep them 
locked for three or four days at least, for fear of a 
second attack. 

Soon after I had the honour of being appointed 
Keeper of the Prints and Drawings in the British 
Museum, Mr. Nollekens, accompanied by Mr. 
Gibson and Mr. Bonomi, the sculptors, came to 
visit me. Upon my being apprised of my old 
friend's arrival in the gallery I went to meet him, 
in order to see that he had a chair, as he was then 
very feeble. I remember, when he was seated in 
the middle of the Elgin Room, he put the following 
question to the late Mr. Combe, loud enough to be 
heard by everyone present who approached to see 
him : ' Why did not you bring the iEgina marbles 
with you, they are more clever than the Phygalian 

1 Mrs. Lobb succeeded the notorious Dame Phillips, formerly of 
the sign of the Fau, in Orange Court. Smith. 


marbles ? How could you be so stupid as to 
miss them ?' 

Mr. Combe, thinking to divert him from the 
subject, said : ' I thought you wore hair-powder, 
sir ? I continue to wear hair-powder, and always 
use the best I can get.' Mr. Nollekens, not hearing 
him, repeated nearly the same question in a louder 
voice : ' I say, why did you let them go ?' For- 
tunately for Mr. Combe, however, he was sent 
for, and so escaped a further interrogation. Mr. 
Nollekens then walked up to No. 64, the fragment 
of a male figure, and exclaimed : f There, you see, 
look at that shoulder and a part of the breast, look 
at the veins ! The ancients did put veins to their 
gods, though my old friend, Gavin Hamilton, 
would have it they never did.' 

When he was as;ain descending to the Townlev 
Gallery, he stopped at the first flight of steps, and, 
taking hold of a button of my coat, desired me to 
go and stand there, adding, 'Now you stand where 
Queen Charlotte sot when she came to see the 
Museum. She was very tired ; they brought her a 
chair, and I stood upon the steps below.' 

As we were passing along the gallery, he said : 
'Ay, I remember seeing the tears fall down the 
cheeks of Mr. John Townley when the Parliament 
said they would buy the marbles. He didn't wish 
'em to take 'em ; and he said to me, "Mr. Nollekens, 
if Government don't take my nephew's marbles, 
I'll send 'em down to Townley Hall, and make a 
grand show with 'em there." Poor man, I never 
shall forget how forlorn he looked.' When we 


arrived at the terra- cotta room, he exclaimed, 
looking up : ' How white these things are getting ! 
Now, I dare say they put 'em into the wall with 
wet plaster ; they should have put 'em in with what 
Mr. Townley used to call bitumen, and then they 
won't moulder. Well, make my compliments to 
Mr. Planta ; I've remembered him, and so I have 
Combe, though he did let the marbles slip through 
his fingers, and so I have you, Tom. Well, good- 
bye ! This Museum will be a fine place very soon.* 
c Ay, sir,' observed I, ' suppose you were to leave 
us your fine heads of Commodus and Mercury f 
to which he answered, ' Well, perhaps I may. 
Townley wanted 'em very much, but I could not 
get my price. He sent to me about 'em just before 
he died.' 

To continue these recollections of Mr. Nollekens 
at this period, I shall present my readers with a 
few more anecdotes communicated to me bv 

The late Mr. Garrard, 1 the Associate of the 
Royal Academy, said to Nollekens : ' Well, they 
tell me I shall be elected an R.A.' Nollekens t 
4 Indeed ! why you've told me that these seven 
years.' When Garrard had taken his leave, a 
friend present observed : ' He's a sculptor as well 
as a painter.' Nollekens: 'Yes, he paints better 
than he sculps. He's jack-of -all-trades ; the rest 
we'll leave out.' 

1 George Garrard, born 1760 ; elected an A.R.A. in 1802 ; died 
1826, without having been promoted to the R.A.-ship. He was an 
animal painter and sculptor. Ed. 


A lady, with her three daughters, once visited 
Mr. Nollekens to show him the drawings of her 
youngest, who was a natural genius. Upon his 
looking at them, he advised her to have a regular 
drawing- master. ; And I can recommend you one,' 
added he ; c he only lives over the way, and his 
name is John Varley.' 1 The lady asked him if he 
were a man of mind. 4 Oh yes !' said Nollekens, 
' he's a clever fellow ; one of our best. I'll ring 
the bell, and send my maid for him ; he'll soon tell 
you his mind,' so ignorant was our sculptor of the 
lady's meaning. 

Whenever he was in Chelsea with a friend, he 
was always pleased in pointing out the house in 
which his mother lived after her marriage with 
Williams, saying that ' when he took leave of her 
at the street-door upon his going to Rome, she said 
to him, " There, Joey, take that ; you may want it 
when you are abroad." It was a housewife, con- 
taining needles, a bodkin, and thread ; and, do you 
know,' added he, ; it was the most useful thing she 
could have given me, for it lasted all the time 
I was at Rome to mend my clothes with ; ay, and 
I have got that very housewife by me now ; 
and, do you know, I would not take any money 
for it.' 

Desenfans, the famous dealer in old pictures, 
whose remains rest in a splendid mausoleum at 
Dulwich, erected after a design by Soane, was 
originally a dealer in Brussels lace and a teacher of 
the French language. 

1 Astrologer and water-colour painter (1778-1842). Ed. 


A lady, however, one of his pupils, possessed of 
5,000, fell so desperately in love with him that 
she soon after married him. During their honey- 
moon they, like most people in a similar situation, 
drove into the country for a little recreation, and 
there at an auction he purchased a few old pictures, 
which, on his return to London, he sold to such 
advantage that he considered it his interest to follow 
up the trade. By great industry and a little taste 
he at length amassed so considerable a sum that he 
finally was enabled to form a much better collection, 
which he left to his protege, Sir Francis Bourgeois, 
who, at the suggestion of the late John Kemble, 
left it to Dulwich College, merely because that 
institution had been founded by an actor. 

I mention these particulars because Nollekens 
told my worthy friend Arnald that he and a friend 
went halves in purchasing a picture by Pordenone, 
for which he gave 11 5s., and which they speedily 
sold to Desenfans for 30. In these brokering 
bargains Nollekens often showed considerable 
cunning, for he would, to my knowledge, seldom 
speculate without a partner. 

I receive infinite pleasure whenever an oppor- 
tunity presents itself in which I can exhibit the 
conduct of my old friend Mr. Nollekens to advan- 
tage ; and I must do him the justice to prove his 
attachment to modern art, by mentioning the 
purchases which he made at various times, and 
which will clearly evince his general inclination 
towards his brother artists. He would certainly 
have more extensively indulged in these purchases 


had not Mrs. Nollekens checked his liberality. I 
remember his giving 90 for a small picture by 
West ; and that he also purchased at Barry's 
auction ' The Origin of Music,' a small specimen, 
but one of that artist's most interesting designs, 
and a remarkably good piece of colouring for him. 
It was bought at Nollekens' sale by the Earl of 
Egremont, one of the many noblemen who, upon all 
occasions, contribute liberally to the encouragement 
of modern art. 

Nollekens had likewise a fine collection of the 
engravings from Sir Joshua Reynolds' pictures, in 
which he took great delight, and was never better 
pleased than when he could add to their number. 
Some persons have said that many of them were 
presented to him by those mezzotinto engravers 
who were looking after Associates' places in the 
Academy ; but, be this as it might, I never knew 
him to ask an engraver for a print. He certainly 
accepted impressions from the owners of private 
plates ; and the Earl of Essex, who is in possession 
of a choice collection of impressions after Sir 
Joshua, gave him one which had been engraved at 
the expense of his lordship purposely to present to 
his friends. 

It is very remarkable that many of our eminent 
characters, and it possibly may be so with those 
of other nations, sometimes glaringly expose them- 
selves by descending to the most frivolous mean- 
nesses ; particularly in preserving every insignificant 
article, which gratification as often excites astonish- 
ment in their friends as it exposes them to the un- 



reflecting remarks of their enemies, who illiberally 
report such anecdotes without making the least 
allowance for the odd compound of ingredients of 
which the human mind is in general composed. 

As corroborations of these imbecilities, I shall 
venture to give four instances, the first two of 
which the reader will not so much wonder at, as 
they certainly are related of persons of weak 
intellect, though standing on eminent ground as 
artists ; but he will be surprised at the two latter, 
as they relate to sensible men who have shone 
in society, and of the first talents, perhaps, in 
their respective classes which this country has 

Nollekens, who was born to shine as one of our 
brightest stars as a bust-modeller, whilst he was 
forming the beautiful bosom of Lady Charlemont, 
suddenly left her ladyship to desire the helper in 
the yard not to give the dog more than half the 
paunch that day, observing that the rest would 
serve him to-morrow, as Mr. John Townley had 
given him the greatest part of a French roll that 
very morning. 

Nollekens, however, I firmly believe, had no idea 
whatever of making himself noticed by singularities. 
His actions were all of the simplest nature ; and he 
cared not what he said or did before anyone, how- 
ever high might be their station in life. He so 
shocked the whole of a large party one night at 
Lady Beechey's that several gentlemen complained 
of his conduct, to which Sir William could only 
reply, ' Why, it is Nollekens, the sculptor !' 


When Abraham Pether, 1 the painter of the cele- 
brated picture of c The Harvest Moon,' employed 
himself a whole day to make his wife a dust-shovel, 
he was so indiscreet, though he at that time stood 
in need of purchasers, as to refuse the admittance 
of two gentlemen who walked from London to 
Chelsea with the full determination to bespeak 
pictures of him. The painter, however, after he 
had whistled through a dozen new tunes and smoked 
as many pipes, at length finished his task, and re- 
marked to a friend, ' There, my boy, if you were 
to give half-a-crown for a dust- shovel, I will be 
bound to say you could not get a better.' 

Abraham Pether was one of those silly beings 
who endeavour to gain popularity by being called 
eccentric ; and, amongst others, he often practised 
the following trick : He would knock at a friend's 
door, and when the servant opened it, he was dis- 
covered striking a light to set fire to his pipe, and 
then when he had accomplished his task, he would 
walk in whiffing his tobacco. 

It is reported of Sir Joshua Reynolds that one 
day, when the knight was looking about the house 
for old canvases, he found a mop-stick put up in 
the corner of the back-kitchen, and that he strictly 
charged Ralph to see to its preservation, in order 
that its value might be deducted when the next 
new mop was purchased. Who could imagine such 
a charge to proceed from the author of his noble 
Lectures, and the artist who painted the glorious 
pictures of l Ugolino ' at Knowle, ' The Infant 
1 1756-1812. Ed. 


Hercules ' at Petersburg, and Mrs. Siddons as the 
; Tragic Muse' at Lord Grosvenor's ? Sir Joshua 
Reynolds was an elegant man, and admired for the 
mildness of his manners. 

It has been asserted also that Pope, when engaged 
in writing some of his most elegant works, would 
leave off to cook lampreys, in a silver saucepan, 
over his own fire. Pope piqued himself upon the 
high birth of those with whom he associated. 

Nollekens, who was at one time passionately fond 
of seeing the soldiers relieve guard, was accosted 
one Sunday morning, when bustling down the Hay- 
market with his little protege Joseph towards the 
Parade, by a little girl, who supplicated him to ring 
an upper bell. ' Ring a bell, ring a bell, my pretty 
little maid, that I will ;' but he could not accom- 
plish it. A Lifeguardsman, well knowing the 
advantage of a few inches, coming down the street 
and seeing Nollekens on tip-toe, straining himself 
to enjoy his favourite amusement of bell-pulling, 
raised his arm at a riffht-anffle from his bodv, and 
pulled the bell with the greatest ease, to the great 
surprise of Nollekens and the joy of the child, who 
had been squeezed by the crescent, tip -toe position 
of Nollekens against the door-post. This scene 
would be a good one for the spirited pencil of 
Cruikshank, and it might be called the ' Advantage 
of Greatness.' 

Mr. Nollekens, when modelling the bust of a 
lady of high fashion, requested her to lower her 
handkerchief in front ; the lady objected, and ob- 
served : c I am sure, Mr. Nollekens, you must be 


sufficiently acquainted with the general form ; there- 
fore, there can be no necessity for my complying 
with your wish ;' upon which Nollekens muttered 
that c there was no bosom worth looking at beyond 
the age of eighteen.' 

Lady Arden had once been waiting some time in 
the parlour for Mr. Nollekens, who had the decency 
to attempt an apology, by assuring her ladyship 
{ that he could not come up before, for that he had 
been downstairs washing his feet ;' further adding 
that they were ' now quite comfortable.' 

Nollekens being once in expectation of a very 
high personage to visit his studio, was dressed to 
receive him ; and after walking up and down the 
passage for nearly an hour, being deprived of the 
advantage of using his clay for fear of spoiling his 
clothes, he at length heard the equipage arrive. 
According to his usual custom, he opened the street- 
door, and as the illustrious visitor alighted he cried 
out : ' So you're come at last ! Why, you are an 
hour beyond your time ; you would not have found 
me at home if I had had anywhere to have gone to, 
I assure you !' 

One day, when Lady Newborough, who was a 
great favourite with Mr. and Mrs. Nollekens, was 
invited to dinner, they sent, just before they were 
about to sit down, to Taylor to make up the party ; 
Taylor's spirit, however, would not allow him to 
accept of so short a notice, and he preferred dining 
at home. The next day Mrs. Nollekens expressed 
her sorrow that she had not the pleasure of his 
company, stating that they had a venison pasty 


which she could not eat, at the same time blabbing 
that the preceding week they had had a fine haunch, 
of which she was very fond, and, indeed, never 

When Tuppin, a carpenter, received orders for a 
packing-case, he was always obliged to state pre 
cisely what it would amount to, and then Mr. 
Xollekens would strengthen the bargain by insisting 
upon it being sent home well stuffed with shavings ; 
but these he never suffered the servants to have at 
their mercy ; they were locked up in a place called 
a wine-cellar, and given out by himself the night 
before they were wanted for morning use. 

In some instances, however, Mr. Nollekens was, 
according to the old adage, ' penny wise and pound 
foolish'; and this was particularly the case as to 
sweeping his chimneys, since he thought that many 
persons had them swept too often. However, after 
having been several times annoyed by the fire- 
engines and their regular attendants the mob he 
was determined to have them more frequently 
cleaned, though some of them, for the want of fires, 
yielded no soot. He nevertheless consoled himself 
for this increased expenditure by discovering that 
such a practice kept up the fame of a consumption 
of coals, like one of the masters of Gil Bias, who 
always picked his teeth after the dinner-hour, to 
induce his neighbours to believe he had dined. 

Mr. Nollekens once showed Mr. Gahagan a sketch 
in charcoal which he had made of Mrs. Palmer 
attending her daughter, who had been ill for a con- 
siderable time, having drawn the young lady with 


a book in her hand which she had been reading. 
The sculptor, however, smeared out the book, ob- 
serving to Grahagan : ' She is getting better now ; 
she shan't have a book.' 

The most insignificant eatable offered to him by 
the poorest of his labourers he would not only 
accept and eat, but was sure to make some observa- 
tion upon it. I recollect a stone-polisher, of the 
name of Lloyd, giving him a cheese-cake, and 
Nollekens, after asking him where he had bought 
it, observed that the Kensington cheese-cakes, and 
those made at Birch's in Cornhill, Mrs. Nollekens 
allowed to be the best. Whenever my friend, Mr. 
John Kenton, the portrait-painter, presented a melon 
to Mr. Nollekens, he always observed : ' This I like ; 
it puts me so much in mind of Kome.' 

Mr. Deville, well known for his fine phrenological 
collection of busts, etc., when a young man was 
employed by Mr. Nollekens to make casts from 
moulds which required oil, upon which he produced 
a little, saying : ' There, you'll find that to be more 
than enough.' Deville, having poured it out into a 
shallow basin, declared it to be insufficient. ' I 
don't wonder at that,' replied Nollekens snappishly ; 
1 why did you not ask me for a wine-glass ? You've 
wasted half of it on the broad bottom of the basin !' 



Mr. Nollekens' insensibility to ancient art and liberality to modern 
artists Stewart's picture of Washington Further instances of Mr. 
Nollekens' eccentricities and manners His intended bequest to the 
Royal Academy Condescension of the Princess of Wales to him 
Bantering letters Conduct of Sir F. Bourgeois Mr. Nollekens' 
man Dodimy Moses Kean Nollekens' summons to his tenants 
for rent His household economy and habits His custom when 
Visitor at the Royal Academy Caprice of his charities Lord 
Mansfield's benevolence Mr. Wivell Nollekens' love of news- 
papers, and memoranda of remarkable events Unfeeling treat- 
ment of his model Other anecdotes of his domestic arrangements, 
art, and liberality Frivolous presents, etc., sent him towards the 
close of his life Beauty of foliated ornaments in sculpture 
Inferiority of architecture to sculpture and painting. 

My friend, Mr. Robertson, 1 the justly -admired 
miniature-painter, upon receiving an exquisitely 
beautiful picture by Ratfaelle, consigned to him by 
Mr. Trumbold, invited Mr. Nollekens, among many 
other artists of eminence, to see it ; but, with all 
its excellence, it appeared to make no impression 
upon him whatever, and the only observation he 
made upon leaving the house was : ' Well, as you 
are pleased with it, I am glad you have got it.' 

1 Andrew Robertson, of Aberdeen (1777-1845), who became the 
doyen of the English miniaturists. Ed. 


Insensible, however, as Nollekens generally was 
when looking: at works of ancient art, I must do 
him the justice to say that in no instance, excepting 
when speaking of Flaxman, have I known him 
attempt to depreciate the productions of modern 
artists ; on the contrary, I have frequently heard 
him say, when he has been solicited to model a 
bust, c Gro to Chantrey ; he's the man for a busto ! 
He'll make a good busto of you ; I always recom- 
mend him.' I have also known him to give an 
artist, who could not afford to purchase it, a lump 
of stone, to enable him to execute an order, though, 
at the same time, I have seen him throw himself 
into a violent passion with a favourite cat for 
biting the feather of an old pen, with which he had 
for many years oiled the hinges of his gates when- 
ever they creaked. I can almost imagine I see 
him now standing before the cat, with the pen in 
his hand, actually showing her what mischief she 
had done, with as much gravity as a certain stupid 
sheriff manifested when he was counting the horse- 
shoe nails, or chopping his finger instead of the 
stick in the Court of Exchequer, when he was 
sworn into office by the Lord Chief Baron. 

Mr. Nollekens once called out across the street 
to me, on the opposite side of Hay Hill : c Smith, 
Peter Coxe has just knocked down General 
Washington, Stewart's picture. Well, what do you 
think ? It fetched a great deal more than any 
modern picture ever brought by auction before, for 
he has just sold it at Lord Lansdowne's for 
540 15s.! You know Stewart : he was born in 


America, He painted that fine portrait of Caleb 
Whitefoord. He's a very clever fellow ; jnst as 
clever as Dance I mean, Sir Nathaniel Dance 

One evening, Bronze happening to place the tea- 
kettle over the fire, Nollekens immediately cried 
out : ' You careless devil, you don't care for 
the work you'll have in the morning to get it 
clean!' And when she left the room he angrily 
muttered, ' Extravagant creature, burning out the 
kettle !' 

Mr. Nollekens, when he dined out of late years, 
always over-ate himself, particularly with the pastry 
and dessert. However, he contrived to purloin a 
small quantity of sweetmeats from the table, which 
he carried to Bronze, saying : c There, Betty, you 
see what I have brought you home ; I don't forget 

When he was showing Mr. Rossi, the Academi- 
cian, his design for a monument to the memory of 
the late Mrs. Coke, of Norfolk, Mrs. Nollekens, 
being the latest up that morning, came into the 
room, and immediately walked up to her husband, 
and then, after making a stately curtsey, with her 
accustomed precision of pronunciation said : ' Sir, 
your watch. My dear father never left his watch 

When Mr. Jackson was once making a drawing 
of a monument at the sculptor's house, Nollekens 
came into the room and said : 4 I'm afraid you're 
cold here.' ' I am, indeed,' said Jackson. ' Ay,' 
answered the sculptor, ' I don't wonder at it. Why, 


do you know, there has not been a lire in this room 
for these forty years !' 

The same artist having asked him what he meant 
to exhibit at the Eoyal Academy, Nollekens 
answered : i Oh, nothing ; I be done now!' c Well,' 
replied the painter, c but you should send some- 
thing to add to our display of sculpture ;' but his 
reply was still a selfish one : ' No ; I be done.' For 
he had no idea of sending anything simply for the 
advantage of the establishment, of which he was 
so old a member, although at one period of his life 
he told me that he had left, in one of his wills, the 
sum of 100,000, to enable that highly respectable 
body to erect a new Academy. 

Miss Grerrard, the daughter of the auctioneer, 
who received a legacy of 19 19s. after Mrs. 
Nollekens' death, frequently called to know how he 
did, and once the sculptor pressed her to dine with 
him, to which she at last consented. ' Well, then,' 
said he to his pupil, Joseph Bonomi, ' go and order 
a mackerel. Stay, one won't be enough ; you had 
better get two, and you shall dine with us!' It 
must here be observed that his two servants were 
now on board-wa^es. 

During the time Mr. Nollekens was modelling 
the bust of the Princess of Wales at Blackheath, 
her Boyal Highness, upon seeing his ear filled with 
powder, observed : 4 Mr. Nollekens, your hair- 
dresser has left some powder in your ear ; it will 
make you deaf ;' and immediately leaving her 
chair, she took up a handkerchief and wiped it 



About this time he was courted by several legacy- 
hunters who were beating about the bush, and 
amusing trifles from various quarters were con- 
tinually planted before him in his room. One 
brought him a tall and extended chimney-cam- 
panula, and, to make it look taller, had it placed 
upon a table within a foot of his nose, so that he 
was obliged to throw his head back to survey it ; 
and another brought the French giant in a coach y 
when he was delighted to ecstasy to see him touch 
the ceiling. During this visit Bonomi made a 
mould of his immense right hand. 

Now and then Nollekens received letters that 
were written by way of hoax, one of which, I 
remember in particular, was in the name of a very 
high personage, to know what he would charge for 
cutting a figure in porphyry ten feet high. This 
application Mrs. Nollekens absolutely answered,, 
addressing her letter to the nobleman in whose 
name it was written, which brought his lordship the 
next day, when, to make amends for the trouble 
Mrs. Nollekens had taken in answering the sillv 
writer's letter, he bespoke a bust of his lady. 

For many years, every summer's morn, Mr. 
Nollekens was up with the rising sun. He began 
his work by watering his clay, when he modelled 
till eight o'clock, at which hour he generally 
breakfasted, and then, as he entered his studio,, 
would observe to his workmen that every man 
should earn his breakfast before he ate it. 

It is occasionally proper to expose in public 
print the cruel manner in which some persons 


treat their nearest relatives, in order that other 
hardened offenders may repent of their conduct 
before it be too late. Snch a person was the late 
Sir Francis Bourgeois, 1 who left his property to 
Dulwich College, without leaving a farthing to his 
niece and her poor, innocent, and unoffending 
children. I recollect Mr. Nollekens once showing 
me a letter which he had received from Sir 
William Beechey, and, to the best of my re- 
collection, the purport of it was that the bearer of 
it was the niece of Sir Francis Bourgeois, who had 
been walking about the streets all night with her 
children for want of a lodging. Sir William applied 
to Mr. Nollekens to give her a trifle, directing his 
attention to her miserable looks and state of 
apparel. God forbid we should have other instances 
of such pride and cruelty ! 

A candle with Nollekens, as is generally the case 
with misers, was a serious article of consumption, 
indeed, so much so that he would frequently put it 
out and, merely to save an inch or two, sit entirely 
in the dark, at times, too, when he was not in the 
least inclined to sleep. So keen was he in watching 
the use of that commoclitv, that whenever Bronze 
ventured into the yard with a light, he always 
scolded her for so shamefully flaring the candle. 
One evening his man Dodimy, who then slept in 
the house, came home rather late, but quite sober 
enough to attempt to go upstairs unheard without 
his shoes ; but, as he was passing Nollekens' door, 

1 Born of Swiss parentage in 1756 ; made A.R.A. in 1787 and R.A. 
in 1793 ; knighted by the King of Poland in 1791. He was thrown 
from his horse and killed in 1811. Ed. 


the immensely-increased shape of the keyhole shone 
upon the side of the room so brilliantly, that he 
cried out : c Who's there V It's only me, sir,' 
answered Dodimy ; ; I am going to bed.' ' Going 
to bed, you extravagant rascal ! Why don't you 
go to bed in the dark, you scoundrel ?' ' It's my 
own candle,' replied Dodimy. ' Your own candle ! 
Well, then, mind you don't set fire to yourself. 
Well, how did you come on at Lord George 
Cavendish's ? You have been cleaning bustos 
there these six days. I told you, Dodimy, things 
could not be done so soon no, things are not to be 
done in a hurry, Master Dodimy.' ' Lord bless 
you, sir, I had some turtle- soup there to-day, and 
such ale !' ' Well, well, take care of yourself. I 
say things must not be done in a hurry.' 

One day Dodimy opened the studio door, and 
cried out, ' Sir ! sir ! here comes the Chelsea 
pensioner to have his shoulders moulded for your 
busto of Mr. Perceval !' ' What,' said Nollekens, 
1 the man with his two wooden-legs and a crutch ?' 
' Yes, sir,' answered Dodimy. l Lord, sir, he has 
left off his crutch, and is swaggering on his buttocks, 
twirling a little switch just as Moses Kean used 
to do.' 

The late Moses Kean was a tailor, a stout-built 
man with black bushy hair and a wooden leg. He 
was always dressed in a dashing manner, in a scarlet 
coat, white satin waistcoat, black satin small-clothes, 
and a ' Scott's Liquid dye ' blue silk stocking ; he 
had also a long- quartered shoe, with a large buckle 
covering his foot, a cocked hat, and a ruffled shirt, 


and never went out without a switch or cane in his 
hand. He was a very extraordinary mimic, par- 
ticularly in his imitations of Charles James Fox, 
which he gave occasionally at the Little Theatre in 
the Hay market. Mr. Alefounder 1 painted a whole- 
length portrait of him as large as life in the above 
dress, which was exhibited in the left-hand corner 
of the ante-room at Somerset House. There is also 
a whole-length etching of him of a quarto size. 
Mr. Edmund Kean, the celebrated actor, owes his 
education to the above person, who was his uncle, 
and when I was a boy lived at No. 9, Little St. 
Martin's Lane. 

Mr. Nollekens in former days, when he was alive 
to the interest of monev, before he suffered thou- 
sands of pounds to rest in his bankers' hands 
unemployed, would write to his tenants in the 
following style, in what he considered a lawyer's 
manner : 

i Mr. Nollekens request Mr. will pay 

him that quarter's rent, due the 29th, forthwith, 
without delay, on or before Thursday next, twelve 
o'clock at noon.' 

Nollekens' old coal-box was of a square shape ; 
it had been a lawyer's wig-box that had been sent 
with a barrister's wig to be modelled from. This 
box had been mended with bits of tin, which he had 
picked up of a morning near the dust-heaps in the 
fields ; but his house contained neither coal-hods 
nor scoops, nor anything like the splendour of a 

1 John Alefounder, the miniature painter. He died at Calcutta in 


certain created lord, who bad his coronet painted 
upon his coal-scuttles. 

Bronze, who, as the reader will recollect, was 
called c Black Bet ' by the Oxford market butchers, 
would, in her master's dotage, put her arm round 
his neck and ask him how he did. ; What !' 
observed Nollekens, ' now you want some money 
I've got none.' c Why, sir, how am I to buy 
things for your table without it ? You have 
enough of it, fresh and blooming, and all alive at 
Chambers's.' Nollekens : ' Can you dance ?' ' Dance, 
sir ! to be sure I can. Give me the cat ;' and then 
she jigged about with it, at which he would laugh 

Nollekens often baited his rat-trap with an 
unusual quantity of cheese, thinking to catch all 
the vermin at once, never dreaming that when one 
was caught the trap would shut the rest out, and 
that the solitary visitor would eat up the whole. 
Why the rats infested his house, Bronze declared 
she never could make out. Food they certainly 
had not ; and an old rat might have said to Nolle- 
kens when he was busy in setting his trap : 

' Fear not, old fellow, for your hoard ; 
I come to lodge, and not to board.' 

A lady of high fashion once brought her child to 
have her beautiful arm moulded. Mr. Nollekens, 
who, as usual upon such occasions, began with his 
gibberish to the child, ' What a pretty handy - 
dandy !' was requested by the lady not to utter such 
nonsense, but to proceed with his task ; adding, 
that her child's nurse was a well-educated woman. 


So determined was Nollekens upon all occasions 
to have a pennyworth for his penny, that he has 
frequently been noticed, when visitor at the Eoyal 
Academy, to turn down the hour-glass whenever 
Charles, the model, got up to rest himself, in order 
that the students might not be deprived of one 
moment of the time for which the model was paid. 
However, one evening in doing this he let the glass 
fall and broke it. This, he observed, he would 
replace by one which he would bring from his 
studio, muttering, ' They don't make things so 
strong as they did when I was a boy.' 

One day Mrs. Nollekens, after a trifling brush 
with her husband, who had declined taking further 
orders for the studio, rated him soundly for paying 
full wages to his man Dodimy, who had nothing to do 
but to sweep the yard and feed the dog. Nollekens, 
sidling up to Dodimy, in a whisper told him not to mind 
her, for that he would raise his wages two shillings 
per week purposely to spite her, that he would. 

His acts of kindness, indeed, depended entirely 
on his momentary humour, for he had no fixed 
principle of generosity. In this he illustrated the 
remark of Mrs. Hannah More, in her 4 Christian 
Morals,' vol. i., p. 187, where she says, ' We must 
not judge of our charity by single acts and par- 
ticular instances, for they are not always good men 
who do good things, but by our general tendencies 
and propensities. We must strive after a uniformity 
in our charity, examine whether it be equable, 
steady, voluntary, and not a charity of times and 
seasons and humours.' 


Mr. Nollekens was standing with the late Earl 
Mansfield in his lordship's farmyard at Kenwood, 
when a little girl came up to him and presented her 
mother's compliments to Farmer Mansfield, and she 
would be obliged to him for a jug of milk. ' Who 
is your mother, my little dear ?' asked his lordship. 
4 She's just come to live in that small house close by 
the road.' His lordship, with his usual smile, called 
to one of the helpers, and desired him to fill the 
child's mug, and if he found the family deserving, 
never to refuse them milk. Although Nollekens 
was frequently heard to relate the above anecdote, 
yet he never felt the force of this noble example, as 
his contributions were generally capricious. 

Mr. Wivell, 1 who is now an artist of ability, was, 
before the dawn of his talent, a hairdresser, and, as 
he himself relates, frequently shaved and dressed 
Mr. Nollekens, who took great notice of him, and 
from whom he now and then received some kind- 
nesses. Mr. Wivell informs me that one day, when 
Mr. Nollekens was under his hand, or, as Rowland- 
son humorously styles it, l a sufferer for decency,' 
Wivell stated to him that someone had stepped 
into his shop and carried off a new hat which had 
just been sent home. The sculptor, when the 
operation was over, took a one-pound note from his 
pocket-book, and giving it to him, said, ' There, 
that will buy you another.' 

Wivell was also with him one day when shirts 
were mentioned. ' How many do you wear in a 
week ?' asked Nollekens. ? Two, sir,' replied 

1 Abraham Wivell, the portrait-painter (1786-1849). Ed. 


Wivell ; ' and that's all my stock, for I wear one 
while the other is washed/ c Poor Wivell !' 
whispered he, and then gave him a one-pound note. 
Nollekens' own stock only consisted of three. 

Wivell was frequently invited to spend the even- 
ing with him to look over his prints. After going 
through those after Sir Joshua Reynolds, Mr. 
Wivell recommended him to throw out his dupli- 
cates ; which he did, and then asked him to value 
them. ' Sir,' said he, upon looking them over, ' I 
think I could make two guineas of them.' ' What 
will you give me for them ?' demanded Nollekens. 
1 Thirty shillings,' replied Wivell. c Then,' said 
the sculptor, ' I won't sell them ; I'll give them 
to you.' 

Having had some success, Mr. Wivell published 
at his own expense an engraving in mezzotinto, 
from Sir William Beechey's portrait of his patron 
Nollekens ; and did himself the pleasure of pre- 
senting him with a proof impression, also indulging 
in the like liberality to Mrs. Nollekens. This plate, 
however, did not sell, and the engraver lost 25 in 
the undertaking. Some time after its publication 
Mr. Nollekens informed the artist that he wanted 
an impression to give away, and after asking the 
price of a proof, said, l Well, I'll have a print.' 
Upon its delivery he asked the price of it. l Seven 
shillings and sixpence, sir, was the price I put upon 
it,' observed Wivell. ' Well, then, what will it be 
to me ? You won't charge me that sum,' said 
Nollekens. ' Oh, sir, pray give me what you please,' 
returned Wivell, who felt grateful for past favours. 


' Well, then,' returned lie, 4 there's three shillings 
for you.' 

He also relates that Mr. Nollekens frequently 
spoke of a man that he met in the fields, who would 
now and then, with all the gravity of an apothecary, 
inquire after the state of his bowels. ' At last,' 
said he, ' I found he wanted to borrow money of 

One morning, while he was under the razor, he 
told Wivell that the dav before he had witnessed 
two scenes of the greatest contrast : the first was 
the inside of Newgate, where he had been to ask 
Mr. Alexander Davison how he did ; the other 
was in one of the grand rooms in Carlton House, 
where he had been to see how the Prince was, and 
that there the tables were all set out with such 
grand plate for an entertainment, that he could not 
help exclaiming to himself, 4 What a difference !' 

It was now and then amusing to hear Nollekens 
read the newspaper to his wife in his most audible 
voice, when she was unable to read it to him a 
practice in which she indulged him from the period 
of her marriage till she became much affected by a 
paralytic seizure, which deprived her of that power. 
He gave up a considerable portion of the day for 
that description of mutual amusement, for so I may 
fairly state it to have been, as he was perfectly and 
equally satisfied with his own method of reading it 
for he read the paper entirely through, beginning 
with the play -bills and ending with the editor's 
address. His partner, however, notwithstanding 
her serious affliction, was often led into a smile by 


his misnomers and bad pronunciation, which were 
at times most whimsically ridiculous. 

Before he became the reader of these daily 
papers, he frequently amused himself by recording 
on the covers of letters what he considered curious 
daily events ; and by looking over these scraps he 
was not only pleased, but would endeavour to amuse 
his friends by now and then reading them aloud. 
As for works on art, he cared for neither Shee's 
4 Rhymes,' Flaxman's c Homer,' nor Blake's c Songs 
of Innocence.' 

The following memoranda were copied from the 
back of one of his charcoal sketches, and will at 
once convince the reader of the estimation in which 
he sometimes held his leisure moments : 

' 1803, May 23d. Lady Newborough brought forth a second sun. 
Sweep the parlour and kitchen chimneys. Clean the cestern in the 
kitchen. Lent Northcot the cable rope and the piece of hoke tre. 

1 1805, Dec. 30. Mrs. Whiteford brought to bed of a sun. 

1 180G, Feb. 8th. Died Mrs. Peck, in Marlbrough-street. 

4 April 14th. The Duke of Gloster came to my house. 

' June 28th. The Duke and Duches of York came to my house. 

'July 7th. His R. H. the Duke of Cumberland made me a visit. 

' July 19th. Lord Wellesley began to set. 

* August 4th. Sent to Lord Yarborough the head of Sir Isack 

* 1808, December 16th. Sent Mr. Bignell, by order of Lady Jersey, 
Lord Jersey's head in a case. 

' 1809, Jan. 12th. Cast-off Mr. Pitt for Mr. Wilberforce, by order 
of Lord Muncaster. 

'April J lth. The Dukes of York, Cumberland, and Cambridge 
made me a visit.' 

Mr. Nollekens, when modelling the statue of Pitt 
for the Senate House, Cambridge, threw his drapery 
over his man Doclimy, who, after standing in an 


immovable position for the unconscionable space of 
two hours, had permission to come down and rest 
himself ; but the poor fellow found himself so stiff 
that he could not move. 4 What !' exclaimed Nolle- 
kens, c can't you move yourself ? Then you had 
better stop a bit.' I am sorry to say there are 
other artists who go on painting with as little com- 
passion for their models. 

Mr. Arminger has declared that in eating nothing 
could exceed the meanness of Mr. and Mrs. Nolle- 
kens, for whenever they had a present of a leveret, 
which they always called a hare, they contrived, by 
splitting it, to make it last for two dinners for four 
persons. The one half was roasted, and the other 

Much has been said respecting those sculptors 
who have employed painters to make designs for 
their monuments. How far such assertions are 
correct at the present moment I will not take upon 
myself to say ; but this I know, that Sir Joshua 
made a sketch of his idea of what Mr. Nollekens' 
monument erected to the memory of the three 
captains should be, and which certainly was attended 
to by the sculptor in his composition. 

To the eternal honour of Mr. Nollekens, w r ho 
was unquestionably a most curious compound of 
misery and affluence, it should be recorded that he 
gave 25 as his subscription to the widows and 
children of the brave soldiers who were killed or 
wounded in the glorious battle of Waterloo. 

It is reported that once when Nollekens was 
walking round the yard with a brother artist, he 


was questioned by him why he kept so many small 
pieces of marble, to which Nollekens replied : 
; They'll all come into use.' ' What's the use of 
this lump ?' asked his friend. ' Oh, that will do for 
a small busto.' t Why, it's only seven inches thick.' 
4 Ay, but then, you know, I shall model a busto for 
that piece with the head twisted, looking over the 
shoulder !' 

About this time it was highly amusing to witness 
the great variety of trifling presents and frivolous 
messages which he daily received. One person 
was particularly desirous to be informed where he 
liked his cheese-cakes purchased ; another, who 
ventured to buy stale tarts from a shop in his 
neighbourhood, sent his servant in a laced livery in 
the evening to inquire whether his cook had made 
them to his taste ; while a third continued con- 
stantly to ply him with the very best pig -tail 
tobacco, which he had most carefully cut in very 
small pieces purposely for him. A fourth truly 
kind friend, who was not inclined to spend money 
upon such speculations himself, endeavoured once 
more to persuade him to take a cockney ride in a 
hackney-coach to Kensington, to view the pretty 
almond-tree in perfect blossom, and to accept of a 
few gooseberries to carry home with him to make a 
tartlet for himself ! A fifth sent him jellies, or 
sometimes a chicken, with gravy ready made, in a 
silver butter-boat ; and a sixth regularly presented 
him with a change of large showy plants to stand 
on the mahogany table, especially in his later years, 
when he was a valetudinarian, so that he might see 


them from his bed. The sight of these plants cer- 
tainly amused him, but as for the delightful odour 
they diffused, it mattered not to him, as his olfac- 
tories were not over delicate, a carrion flower or a 
marigold being equally refreshing to him as a sprig 
of jessamine or mignonette. 

It is a verv curious fact that during seventy 
years' constant practice in his art Nollekens was 
never known to hold up or to admire the elegance 
of a tendril, or even the leaf of a plant, nor to take 
casts of those simple and beautiful productions of 
Nature, the lily, the vine, the ivy, the olive-branch, 
the laurel, or the oak, which so often have been 
introduced in all ages and countries in monumental 
sculpture. This, however, is not the case with 
artists of the present day. 

Flaxman, whose mind was elegance itself, was 
never more delighted than in the accumulation of 
such examples, nor has any sculptor displayed them 
with greater taste ; and we find by the splendid and 
inestimable collection of foliated ornaments so 
liberally and tastefully displayed on the walls of 
the staircase and painting-rooms of Sir Thomas 
Lawrence, in his house in Russell Square, that the 
ancient Greeks and Romans carefully and exten- 
sively studied that luxuriant branch of their art, 
particularly in their architectural decorations. 

Thus far, too, Mr. Soane 1 may be considered 
correct in his assertion that the sculptors art is the 
' lace- work of architecture ' ; but that gentleman 

1 This eminent architect became Sir John Soane in 1830. He died 
in 1837, at the age of eighty-four. Ed. 


surely never could mean to say that busts, figures 
in niches, and groups of historical composition were 
ever meant to be so considered. Such a degrada- 
tion, I believe, was never attempted. Indeed, it has 
been a matter of strong contention whether sculp- 
ture should not take the precedence of painting. 
Architecture should certainly be the last- mentioned 
of the sister arts, whatever ideas some architects 
may entertain upon the subject. Men of true taste 
visit a mansion upon the report of its statues, busts, 
and pictures. The architecture of a house, un- 
adorned by such productions of art, would not 
induce the general traveller to drive twenty miles 
out of his road, or even five. How few allure- 
ments, indeed, would the Marquis of Lansdowne's, 
Lord Pembroke's, Lord Egremont's, Lord Farn- 
borough's, Sir Abraham Hume's, Mr. Peel's, and 
many other noble mansions have, if totally desti- 
tute of their fine collections of statues and pictures ! 
and however delightful maybe the society of the 
truly amiable brothers, Samuel and Henry Rogers, 
surely their visitors receive double pleasure in 
being surrounded not only with some of the finest 
specimens of ancient art, but by the choicest works 
of Sir Joshua Reynolds, Wilson, Stothard, and 
other professors of the highest eminence and merit. 

[ 352 ] 


Cause of Mr. Nollekens dismissing his confessor Songs of his youthful 
days His bed Unquiet nights productive of charity Liberality to 
his domestics Coarseness of his food and manner of eating In- 
feriority of his wardrobe, and meanness of his domestic arrange- 
ments - Character of his drawings and those of other sculptors His 
monumental designs and models Infirmity of his latter days, and 
death Attested copy of his will and codicils. 

One rainy morning Nollekens, after confession, 
invited his holy father to stay till the weather 
cleared up. The wet, however, continued till 
dinner was ready, and Nollekeng felt obliged to ask 
the priest to partake of a bird, one of the last of a 
present from his Grace the Duke of Newcastle. 
Down they sat. The reverend man helped his host 
to a wing, and then carved for himself, assuring 
Nollekens that he never indulged in much food, 
though he soon picked the rest of the bones. ' I 
have no pudding,' said Nollekens ; ' but won't you 
have a glass of wine ? Oh, you have got some ale !' 
However, Bronzo brought in a bottle of wine ; and 
on the remove Nollekens, after taking a glass, 
went, as usual, to sleep. 

The priest, after enjoying himself, was desired 


by Nollekens, while removing the handkerchief 
from his head, to take another glass. c Tank yon, 
sare, I have a finish de bottel.' \ The devil you 
have !' muttered Nollekens. \ Now, sare,' continued 
his reverence, ' ass de rain be ovare, I vil take my 
leaf.' c Well, do so,' said Nollekens, who was not 
only determined to let him go without his coffee, 
but gave strict orders to Bronze not to let the old 
rascal in again. ' Why, do you know,' continued 
he, ' that he ate up all that large bird, for he only 
gave me one wing ; and he swallowed all the ale, 
and out of a whole bottle of wine I had only one 


After this, being without a confessor, Mrs. Holt, 
his kind attendant, read his prayers to him ; but 
when she had gone through them, his feelings were 
so little affected by his religious duties, that he 
always made her conclude her labours by reading 
either 4 Gay's Fables ' or ' The Beggar's Opera,' at 
the latter of which, when she came to certain songs, 
he would laugh most heartily, saying : c I used to 
sing them songs once ; and it was when I was 
courting my Polly.' 

I recollect that the bedstead upon which Mr. 
Nollekens slept of late years was four-posted, the 
curtains being yellow, orange, red, and black, and 
when first put up they made a most gorgeous 
display, though he had for many years but one 
counterpane, of which he was so extremely choice 
that he would not suffer it to be washed ; but Mrs. 
Holt, being ashamed to see it, put on one of her 
own of a much superior quality. When he saw it 



upon the bed lie swore at her, and asked her why 
it had been washed ; but upon her informing him 
that it was one of her own, he allowed it to remain, 
saying, ' Well, indeed, it does look very comfort- 
able.' When this counterpane required washing, 
Mrs. Holt put on his own, at which he angrily cried 
out : ' I won't have it on ; I always sleep better 
without one. I don't like a counterpane ;' to which 
she answered that ' the poorest creature in a 
workhouse had a rug on his bed, and that she would 
have it on.' 

Mrs. Holt, to whom I am obliged for many 
particulars in this volume, who had by her 
amiable disposition and strict attention to cleanli- 
ness rendered the two last years of Mr. Nollekens' 
life more comfortable than any period of his 
existence, informed me that when he could not rest 
in his bed, he would frequently endeavour to raise 
himself up, and call to her to know if she was 
asleep. Mrs. Holt, who rested upon a hard sofa 
by the side of his bed, would answer : l I'm here, 
sir. Can I give you anything ?' Nollekens : ' Sit 
up ; I can't sleep I can't rest. Is there anybody 
that I know that wants a little money to do 'em 

good ?' Mrs. Holt: \ Yes, sir ; there is Mrs. .' 

Nollekens : c Well, in the morning I'll send her ten 
pounds.' c That's a good old boy,' said she, patting 
him on the back ; ' you will eat a better dinner for 
to-morrow, and enjoy it.' And Mrs. Holt has added 
that she never knew him to forget his promise. 

With all his propensity for saving, he indulged 
for many years in the gratification of making his 


household domestics a present of a little sum of 
money on his birthday ; and lately, upon this 
occasion, he became even more generous, by 
bestowing on them, to their great astonishment, 
ten and twenty pounds each. 

A broad-necked gooseberry bottle, leather- 
bunged, containing coffee, which had been pur- 
chased and ground full forty years, was brought 
out when he intended to give a particular friend a 
treat ; .but it was so dried to the sides of the 
bottle that it was with difficulty he could scrape 
together enough for the purpose, and even when it 
was made, time had so altered its properties, from 
the top having been but half closed, that it was 
impossible to tell what it had originally been. He 
used to say, however, of this turbid mixture : 
4 Some people fine their coffee with the skin of a 
sole, but for my part, I think this is clear enough 
for anybody!' 

Mrs. Wilson, a most amiable lady, one of the 
daughters of Mr. Major, 1 the late celebrated 
engraver of the Stamp Office, was once asked to 
stay and drink tea with him. As Mr. Nollekens 
was putting in more tea than he would for himself, 
he was stopped by Mrs. Wilson, who observed that 
she was afraid he had misunderstood her, for she 
could not stay ; on which he muttered, 4 Oh, I'm 
glad you spoke !' and then returned half the tea out 
of the pot to the canister. I do not wonder that so 

1 Thomas Major, A.E. (1720-1799), the first engraver elected into 
the Royal Academy. He was for forty years Engraver to the King. 


elegant a woman as Mrs. Wilson declined his 
invitation, particularly at this time, when the 
paralytic seizures which he had undergone rendered 
his society at some times insupportable, for, in- 
dependent of his natural stupidity and ignorance 
in conversation, his bodily humours appeared in 
several parts of his person as well as his face, 
which was seldom free from eruptions, particularly 
about his mouth. 

Indeed, poor man ! his appearance and want of 
decent manners rendered it impossible for anyone 
accustomed to tolerable society to associate with 
him ; and yet there were persons, whose servants 
would send such an object from their master's door, 
who actually sat down and partook of his boiled 
rabbit smothered with parsley and butter, even 
when he had thick napkins four times doubled 
under his chin. For my own part, I must say 
I always declined accepting an invitation, though 
I have seen ladies arrive in their carriages, with an 
expectation of being remembered when next he 
made his will, for it was pretty well known that, in 
the course of the last twenty-five years, he had 
made several, in some of which he had remembered 
all his old friends. However, I shall for the present 
drop this subject, and state to my readers the few 
amusements which he enjoyed at this period. 

His principal attendant, Goblet, who at this time 
was empowered with the full control of the studio, 
stone-yard, and gate, cleared a space of ground 
which he formed into a small garden, purposely to 
be viewed from a window of an upper room, into 


which he and Mrs. Holt, and sometimes poor Bronze, 
guided the castored chair with the man who had for 
years repeatedly promised to make them all happy 
for life. 

Of these three persons, Mr. Nollekens made the 
most free Avith Bronze ; he listened to her silly 
nonsense with the full expectation of hearing what 
she had often said, and then would joke in his way 
in return ; and though she was not over-cleanly in 
her domestic habits or person, he voraciously ate 
the food prepared by her hands. His attendant, 
Mrs. Holt, always cooked her own dinner ; for 
lately, though Nollekens' savoury dish was some- 
times relished by a crafty visitor, she declined 
eating with him, well knowing how negligent Bronze 
was as to the state of her culinary articles before 
she used them. Indeed, Bronze, in her gray-haired 
state, became addicted to drinking, and then Mrs. 
Holt would not allow her to dress anything more for 
her master, but kindly cooked his dinner herself. 

Perhaps there never was a Royal Academician, 
or even a servant of one, whose wardrobes were so 
scantily provided with change of dress as those of 
Mr. Nollekens and his old servant Bronze. He had 
but one nightcap, two shirts, and three pairs of 
stockings ; two coats, one of them his pourpre de 
pape, one pair of small-clothes, and two waistcoats. 
His shoes had been repeatedly mended and nailed ; 
they were two odd ones, and the best of his last 
two pair. This was the amount of his dress : 
indeed, so niggardly was he as to his clothes, that 
when Mrs. Holt took possession of his effects, she 


declared she would not live with him unless he had 
a new coat and waistcoat. With this reasonable 
request he complied, saying nothing about any other 
part of his dress. 

Poor Bronze, who had to support herself upon 
what were called board-wages, had barely a change, 
and looked more like the wife of a chimney- 
sweeper than any other kind of. human being. As 
for table linen, two small breakfast-napkins and a 
large old tablecloth, a descendant in the family, 
which, when used, was always folded into four, 
was the whole of his stock ; for he possessed no 
doileys, and Bronze declared to me that she had 
never seen such a thing as a jack-towel in the 
house, nor even the nail-holes where one had been. 
She always washed without soap: there were no 
hearth -stones nor blacklead dust for the stoves ; 
nor a cake of whitening for the kitchen-grate ; nor 
even a yard of oil- cloth to preserve the stones from 
grease, much less an old bit of bedside carpet, to 
keep the bones of poor old Bronze free from 

In this state Mrs. Holt found things at No. 9, 
Mortimer Street, and in a worse condition did they 
appear when the secrets of the prison-house were 
laid open, as will be found after the insertion of Mr. 
Nollekens' will in a future page of this volume. 

Of late years he diverted himself with several 
sketch-books filled with outlines and measurements 
of busts, statues, groups, and basso-relievos, which 
he had most industriously and carefully made 
during his residence in Italy from numerous 


fragments, and several celebrated antiques in the 
Vatican, the Palaces, and Villas Bassano, Belvidere, 
Bologna, Borghese, Frascati, Giustiniani, Loretto, 
Mantua, Massani, Tivoli, etc. 

These sketch-books, which are now mostly in the 
possession of Mrs. Palmer, may very justly be con- 
sidered to contain some of his best drawings, and 
are beyond doubt most valuable memoranda. Of 
the interesting subjects delineated particularly as 
to their measurements, which in my belief are 
strictly accurate the outlines in my mind bear too 
visibly the cold hand of perseverance only, since 
they are not executed with anything like the feel- 
ing with which Flaxman drew ; and when compared 
with his Italian studies, also made from some of 
the same antiques, they fall far short of the mind 
visible in everything Flaxman touched, even in his 
earliest years. 

However this may be, and feebly as Nollekens' 
copies were made, he unquestionably not only con- 
siderably out-stripped his master Scheemakers, but, 
to do him only common justice, his strides were 
considered greatly beyond the usual extent of the 
abilities in drawing of the sculptors of his early 
days Eysbrack excepted, whose drawings, though 
certainly considerably mannered, possess a fertility 
of invention and a spirit of style in their execution 
seldom emanating from the hand of a sculptor of 
modern times. They are for the most part washed 
in bistre, and are frequently to be met with. 
Painters, and indeed engravers, at that time were 
much better draughtsmen than the sculptors. There 


were Moser, Mortimer, Cipriani, West, Barry, 
Bartolozzi, Sherwin, Ryland, Strutt, Legat, and 
Grignon, wlio drew the figure well. Since their 
time we have been enabled to boast of Blake, 
Flaxman, Lawrence, Stothard, Burney, Ryley, 
Howard, Hilton, Etty, Briggs, and Morton, all 
faithful and constant delineators of form and 
muscular action. Michael Angelo's productions as 
a draughtsman were divinely magnificent, and they 
are pre-eminently placed in all collections where 
they are to be found ; he drew with the pen or 
charcoal, and also in red chalk, but most of his 
finest drawings are in black chalk, in which he 
seemed to delight, if we may judge from the 
exquisite manner in which many of them are 
finished. When I had the honour of viewing Sir 
Thomas Lawrence's princely collection of drawings 
by Michael Angelo and Raffaelle, their productions 
alone engaged my admiration from seven o'clock 
till past eleven. Jeremiah Harman, Esq., has also 
some most powerful drawings by Michael Angelo, 
which were brought into England by W. Y. Ottley, 

During Nollekens' juvenile practice he received 
a few lessons in drawing from a sculptor now but 
little known, Michel Henry Spang, a Dane, 1 who 
drew the figure beautifully and with anatomical 
truth a most essential component of the art, in- 

1 Spang, who produced that small anatomical figure so well known 
to every draughtsman who assiduously studies his art. He also de- 
signed and executed the Ggures on the pediment of Earl Spencer's 
house in the Green Park, and the decorations on the screen at the 
dmiralty. Smith. Spang died about 1767. Ed. 


dispensably requisite for all those who would climb 
to the summit of Fame ; but this invaluable ac- 
quirement was neglected by Nollekens, nor did he 
at any period of his life venture to carve a subject 
in which a knowledge of anatomy would have been 
extensively wanted : his naked figures were of the 
most simple class, being either a young Bacchus, a 
Diana, or a Venus, with limbs sleek, plump, and 
round ; but I never knew him, like Banks, to 
attempt the grandeur of a Jupiter or even the 
strength of a gladiator. His monumental effigies, 
too, were always so draped and placid that very 
little expression of muscle was exercised. Nolle- 
kens' large academical drawings, made when he 
was Visitor in the Royal Academy, were feebly 
executed : his men were destitute of animation, and 
his females often lame in the joints ; their faces 
were usually finished up at home from his wife, and 
in compliment to her he generally contrived to give 
them little noses. 

There were in the Academy at the time when 
Mr. Nollekens was Visitor, three young sculptors 
who drew remarkably well Flaxman, Proctor 1 and 
Deare whose abilities were so much noticed by 
their fellow -students that Nollekens gave up his 
practice of drawing for that of modelling the figure 
in basso-relievo, and many of his productions pos- 
sessed great merit. Having throughout his long 
life had fewer vexations than most men, by reason 
of his natural imbecility, he was on all occasions 

1 Thomas Proctor, the sculptor and painter (1753-1793). See 
Prefatory Essay. Ed. 


industriously inclined to his art, and was never 
known to riot in dissipation ; on the contrary, 
whenever he was not engaged in modelling, he 
employed himself, particularly in the evening, in 
making designs upon the backs of letters and other 
scraps of paper for every description of monument 
of the simple kind, such as a female weeping or 
entwining festoons of flowers over an urn, or a 
child with an inverted torch ; and for one and the 
same monument I have known him make half a 
dozen or more trials. 

Quantities of these sketches were purchased at 
his auction by Mrs. Palmer, who, having so many 
of his works, at one time had an idea of building a 
room for their reception, as I have been informed 
by Mr. Taylor, 1 the pupil of Frank Hayman, who 
still continues an inquisitive and communicative 
man, notwithstanding his great age, which now and 
then screens him from the retort courteous. 

These sketches were often in pencil, or some- 
times finished in Indian ink, but many of his later 
ones were drawn only with charcoal ; he kept them 
always at hand to show a gentleman who had lost 
his wife, or a lady who had been deprived of her 
husband or child ; and he has often been heard to 
say when he has received an order for a monu- 
ment, c You see, I take 'em when the tear's in the eye.' 

The greatest pleasure our sculptor ever received 
was when modelling small figures in clay, either 
singly or in groups, which he had baked ; and in 

1 John Taylor, known as 'Old Taylor,' long outlived Smith, and 
died in 1838, in his ninety-ninth year. Ed. 


consequence of his refusing to sell them, and giving 
very few away, they became so extremely numerous 
that they not only afforded a great display of his in- 
dustry, hut considerable entertainment to his friends. 

His talent in this way was esteemed superior to 
many things executed by him of a large size, and it 
would ill become me, after venturing to amuse my 
readers with my old master's weaknesses, if T were, 
by my silence upon these beautiful models, to deprive 
him of one particle of that share of praise to which 
he was so deservedly entitled for their composition 
and spirit ; for though he was but a poor artist as 
a draughtsman, no one equalled him in his time as 
a modeller, particularly in his Venuses. There is 
in some of them, notwithstanding their want of 
that grace which he might have derived from the 
antique, a luxuriant display of Nature's elegance, 
of which there was then no sculptor better able to 
make a selection. 

His models towards the decline of his practice 
were not possessed of much variety of composition ; 
and as for his attempts in his latter years, they 
very much resembled the productions of a dozing 
man. However, I will still do him the justice to 
own that they were in some points natural, and to 
the last evinced a strong attachment to his branch 
of the art, although produced in his second child- 
hood. As a proof of my assertion, Sir William 
Beechey has a little group, possessing much merit, 
which Nollekens modelled from his design only a 
short time before his last attack ; though he would 
then occasionally leave off and give Bronze, his 


poor old servant, money to dance his favourite cat, 
c Jenny Dawdle,' round about the room to please 
him, and at which he would always laugh himself 
heartily into a fit of coughing, and continue to 
laugh and cough, with tears of pleasure trickling 
down his cheeks upon his bib, until Bronze declared 
the cat to be quite tired enough for that morning. 
This cat, the favourite of her master, his constant 
companion at his breakfast and dinner table, being 
no longer praised and petted by her master's visitors 
after his death, was kindly rescued from unthinking 
boys, or the stealers of cats for the sake of their 
skins, by Mrs. Holt, who took her to her home, 
which she had left to oblige Mr. Nollekens, where 
it now enjoys a warm-hearted fireside friend. As 
for the fate of poor Bronze, alas ! a future page 
will declare it. 

In this state of imbecility he continued to exist 
for a considerable time, under the kind superintend- 
ence of his housekeeper, Mrs. Holt, who deserves 
the highest praise for the feeling manner in which 
she watched over him. As for his faithful servant 
poor Betty, whose name was dropped at the begin- 
ning of this work for that of Bronze, she was too 
old and feeble to do much ; her hair had become 
gray in his service, and she was not altogether 
unlike the figure of the poor old soul so wretchedly 
employed in lighting the fire in the miser's room, 
represented by Hogarth in his first plate of 'The 
Rake's Progress.' Goblet, his principal carver, who 
had slept in the house for some months, was at all 
times ready, night and day, to render him every 


assistance in his power, for which he had been 
induced to give up his own domestic comforts. 
His medical attendant was Sir Anthony Carlisle, 1 
who for a long time had visited him at all hours, 
and who was always with him at the shortest 
possible notice, and whose kind and skilful hand 
frequently relieved his sufferings, for he had been 
visited in the course of his life with three paralytic 

Under these circumstances Mr. Nollekens at length 
departed this life in the drawing-room on the first 
floor, at the south-east corner of his house, April 23, 
1823, in the presence of Mrs. Holt and Mr. Goblet, 
who immediately sent to inform the three executors, 
of which number he had, upon the death of my 
honoured friend, the Rev. Edward Balme, chosen 
me to be one. I considered it my duty to attend 
the same day, when I found Sir William Beechey. 
The next day Mr. Douce met us, and the will was 
read. The following is an attested copy. 

This is the last Will and Testament of me, Joseph Nollekens, 
of Mortimer-street, in the Parish of St. Mary-le-bone, in the County 
of Middlesex, Esquire : I desire that my body be decently deposited 
in the vault under the parish church of Paddington, in the said 
County ; and that there be not any scarfs given at my funeral, but 
that I be buried in a plain black coffin, without any gilt ornaments. 
And that all such just debts as I shall owe at the time of my decease, 
and my funeral and testamentary charges and expenses be paid and 
satisfied. I give to Mrs. Frances Burslem, of Michleover, in the 
County of Derby, the sum of two hundred pounds. I give to Mrs. 
Mary Lee, late the widow of my esteemed friend Caleb Whitefoord, 
Esquire, deceased, the sum of one hundred pounds, to be paid into 
her own proper hands, for her sole and separate use, and for which 

1 The eminent surgeon and physiologist (1768-1840). Ed. 


her receipt alone (notwithstanding her coverture) shall be a sufficient 
discharge to my Executors hereinafter named. I give to Mr. Lee, 
the husband of the said Mary Lee, the sum of five hundred pounds, 
in trust for Maria Whiteford, Caleb Whiteford, Charles Whiteford, 
Harriet Whiteford, and John Whiteford, children of the said Mary 
Lee, by her said former husband, in equal shares, and to be paid them 
at their respective ages of twenty-one years ; but if any, or either of 
them, shall happen to die before attaining that age, then as to the 
parts of him, her, or them, so dying, in trust for the survivors or 
survivor of them, equally between such survivors, if more than one ; 
and the interest of their said several shares to be in the meantime 
paid or applied towards their respective maintenance or education. 
And I direct that the receipt of the said Mr. Lee shall be a sufficient 
discharge to my Executors for the same legacy. And that they shall 
not afterwards be liable to see to the application or disposition of the 
said legacy, or any part thereof, I give to the said Mr. Lee the sum 
of one hundred pounds, as an acknowledgment for the trouble he 
will have in the execution of the aforesaid trust. I give to Mary 
Ann Bonomi, Agnes Bonomi, Justina Bonomi, Ignatius Bonomi, 
Joseph Bonomi, and Charles Bonomi, children of my late friend 
Mrs. Rosa Bonomi, one hundred pounds each, to be paid them at 
their respective ages of twenty-one years ; but if any, or either of 
them, shall happen to die before attaining that age, then I give the 
aforesaid legacy or legacies of him, her, or them, so dying, unto the 
survivors or survivor of them, equally between such survivors, if 
more than one. And I direct that the interest of their said several 
legacies may, if deemed necessary, be in the meantime paid or applied 
towards their respective maintenance or education. I give to my 
friend Mrs. Mary Lloyd, widow of the late Captain Hugh Lloyd, one 
hundred pounds. I give to my friend Sir William Beechey two 
hundred pounds. I give to Mrs. Mary Zoffany three hundred 
pounds. I give to Mrs. Green, widow of the late Yalentine Green, 
one hundred pounds. I give to my worthy friend, Francis Douce, 
Esquire, the book of all my prints by Albert Durer, together with 
the print of the Triumphant Arch of the Emperor Maximilian ; also 
the golden medallion which I obtained at Rome, in the year One 
Thousand Seven Hundred and Sixty-eight ; but I request that he 
do, at his decease, leave and bequeath the said prints unto the British 
Museum. I give to my worthy friend, the Reverend Mr. Kerrick, 
one hundred pounds ; and I desire that he the said Mr. Kerrick do 
select from my Prints of Reubens, twelve of them for his collection, 
and which twelve Prints I hereby bequeath tr him. I give to my 


old friend, Benjamin West, Esquire, one hundred pounds, with the 
model of his bust. I give to my old friend, Richard Cosway, Esquire, 
one hundred pounds. I give to the Reverend Mr. Wollaston, of 
South Weale, one hundred pounds, as a token of my regard for him. 
I give to my old friend, Mr. J. Taylor, of Cirencester-place, Mary- 
]e-bone, one hundred pounds. I give and remit to my friend, Mrs. 
Elizabeth Rumsey, the principal and interest due from her to me, on 
her promissory note for one hundred pounds ; and I direct that the 
said note be delivered up to her to be cancelled. I give to my esteemed 
friend, Mrs. Walford, one hundred pounds. I give to Mr. Charles 
Robertson, of Great Marlborough-street, fifty pounds, as a testimony 
of the regard I have for him. I give to Mrs. Byrne, widow of the 
late Mr. Byrne, Engraver, one hundred pounds. I give to Miss 
Susanna Devins, two hundred pounds. I give to the Reverend 
Doctor Charles Symmons, two hundred pounds. I give to Mr. John 
Woodcock, cousin of my late dear wife, three hundred pounds. I 
give to Mr. John Soilleux, of Notting-hill, Kensington, one hundred 
pounds. I give to Doctor Rudeman, of Bryanstone- street, fifty 
pounds. I give to Mrs. Mary Holt, fifty pounds. I give to Mrs. 
Gerrard, nineteen guineas. I give to Hancock, my Hair-dresser, 
nineteen guineas. I give to Mary Bailleux, now in Saint George's 
workhouse, forty pounds. I give to Mrs. Henshall, nineteen guineas. 
I give to Elizabeth Clements, my servant, nineteen guineas. I give 
to Mary Fearey, my late servant, all my wearing apparel, clothes, 
and body-linen. I give to Sebastian Gahagan, Alexander Goblet, and 
George Lupton, three of my workmen, one hundred pounds each, 
to be paid as soon as convenient after my decease ; and to George 
Gahagan, another of my said workmen, twenty pounds, to be paid 
in like manner. I give to Louisa Goblet, daughter of the said 
Alexander Goblet, thirty pounds. I give to the said Mary Fearey, 
to Ann Clibbon, my late servant, and to Dodemy, (another of my 
workmen) an annuity of thirty pounds to each of them, for their 
respective lives, to be paid by equal half yearly payments, the first 
of such payments to be made at the end of six calendar months next 
after my decease. I give to the Trustees or Treasurer, for the time 
being, of the Saint Patrick Orphan Charity School, three hundred 
pounds for the benefit of the said school. I give to the Treasurer 
or Treasurers of the Middlesex Hospital, three hundred pounds for 
the benefit of the said hospital. I give to the Treasurer or Treasurers 
of the Parish Charity School of Saint Mary-le-bone, three hundred 
pounds for the benefit of the said school. I give to the Treasurer or 
Treasurers of the Society for the Relief of Persons imprisoned for 


Small Debts, three hundred pounds, for the purposes of the said 
society. I give to the Treasurer or Treasurers of the Meeting or 
Contribution for the Relief of distressed Seamen, held at the King's 
Head Tavern in the Poultry, nineteen guineas, to be applied for the 
purposes of the said meeting. I desire that my collection of virtu 
in antiques, marbles, busts, models, printed books, prints, and draw- 
ings, (except such books and prints as I have hereinbefore given) 
be sold by public auction ; and that the said Alexander Goblet be 
employed to arrange, repair, and clean my said marbles, busts, and 
models, to fit them for sale, under the direction of my executors ; 
and that he, the said Alexander Goblet, be paid for his trouble 
therein, at the rate of one guinea per day, during such time as he 
shall be so engaged, and which I suppose may be effected in three or 
four days ; and I desire that my said antiques, marbles, busts, models, 
books, prints, and drawings, (except as aforesaid,) be sold by Mr. 
Christie, of Pall Mall. I give to the said Francis Douce, Esquire, 
and to the Reverend Edward Balme, the Executors of this my Will, 
five hundred pounds each, as an acknowledgement for their trouble. 
I give to Mrs. Sadler my leasehold house, situate and being No. 66, 
Great Portland-street, now in her occupation ; and all my estate, 
term, and interest therein. I give to Mrs. Hawkins my leasehold 
house, situate in Edward-street, Manchester-square, now in her occu- 
pation ; and all my estate, term, and interest therein. I give to 
Jasper Peck, Esquire, my four leasehold houses, situate in St. James's- 
street ; my four other houses, situate in Edward-street, aforesaid ; 
my two ground-rents of two houses, in the same street ; my leasehold 
house in Margaret-street, Cavendish-square ; and my two corner houses 
in Norton-street and Clipstone-street, and all my estate and interest 
therein respectively. And as to my property in the funds at the 
Bank of England, the monies to arise by the sales hereinbefore 
directed, the debts that shall be owing to me at my decease, and all 
other the residue of my estate and effects whatsoever, I give the same 
to Mr. Francis Russell Palmer, of Cumberland-place, New-road, and 
the said Francis Douce, and Mr. Edward Balme, equally to be divided, 
between them. And I appoint the said Francis Douce and Edward 
Balme, Executors of this my Will. And I declare that they, or either 
of them, or their respective Executors, shall not be charged or charge- 
able with, or answerable or accountable for any loss or damage that 
may happen of or to my estate and effects, or any part thereof, so 
as the same happens without their wilful neglect or default ; and that 
they, or any, or either of them, shall not be answerable or accountable 
for the others or other of them, or for the receipts, payments, acts* 


neglects, or defaults of the others or other of them, but each of them 
only for himself, and his own receipts, payments, acts, neglects, and 
defaults. And that they my said Executors, and their respective 
Executors, shall and may, by, from, and out of my estate and effects, 
or any part thereof, deduct, retain, and reimburse himself and them- 
selves respectively, all such costs, charges, and expenses as they shall 
respectively pay, sustain, or be put unto, in or about the execution of 
this my Will or relating thereto.. And I do hereby revoke and make 
void all and every other will and wills by me at any time or times 
heretofore made, and do publish and declare this to be my last Will 
and Testament. In witness whereof, I have to this my last Will and 
Testament contained in three sheets of paper, set my hand and seal 
(that is to say) have set my hand to the two first sheets, and to this 
third and last sheet have set my hand and seal, this twenty-first day 
of March, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and 

Joseph Nollekens, l.s. 
Signed, sealed, published and declared by the said Joseph 
Nollekens the Testator, as and for his last Will and Testa- 
ment in the presence of us who at his request in his presence, 
and in the presence of each other, have subscribed our names 
as witnesses thereunto. 

Henry Jeanneret, ) _ 

-c, n n f Golden-square. 

Edward Cary Grojan, 3 * 

No. 1. 

I give to Mrs. Harness of Stanmore in the County of Middlesex a 
Cousin of my late dear wife Mary Nollekens, three hundred pounds 
and I publish and declare this to be a Codicil to my foregoing Will 
witness my hand and seal this twenty seventh day of March one 
thousand eight hundred and eighteen. 

Joseph Nollekens, l.s. 
Signed sealed and published by the 
said Joseph Nollekens in the pre- 
sence of us 

Henry Jeanneret, 
W. T. Stubbs. 

No. 2. 

I will and direct that the annuity of thirty pounds by my Will 
given to Mary Fearey therein named be increased to an annuity of 
fifty pounds and that the annuity of thirty pounds by my said Will 
given to Ann Clibbon therein also named be increased to an annuity of 



forty pounds which increased annuities I give to them respectively (in 
lieu of the said annuities given them by my said Will) and to be paid 
half yearly as in my said Will mentioned I give to Mr. Henshall of 
Mortimer street Stone Mason (over and above the legacy by my said 
Will given to Mrs. Henshall his wife) the sum of one hundred pounds 
and I publish and declare this to be a further Codicil to my said Will, 
witness my hand and seal this twenty fourth day of June, one 
thousand eight hundred and eighteen. 

Joseph Nollekens, l.s. 
Signed, sealed, and published by the 
said Joseph Nollekens, in the pre- 
sence of us, 

Henry Jeanneret, 
Edw. Cary Grojan. 

No. 3. 

Has a presant to Maria Yerninck, daughter of the "Reverend 
Doctor and the Honorable Mrs. Yerninck, of Camberwell, who was 
the Goddaughter of my late dear wife Mrs. Nollekens, and was in 
May last six years of age the sum of two hundred pounds Also, I 
have given to Sophia Baroness de Belmont the sum of two hundred 
pounds as a remembrance I had of her late worthy father. God bless 
them boath. These are boath paid October the 29th, 1818. 

Joseph Nollekens. 

I desire that Mr. Carlisle the Surgent be presented with a note of 
fifty pounds for his attendance on me. 

No. 4. 

It is my desier and request that my executors do make a presant of 
the sum of two hundred pounds to each of the daughters of Mr. John 
Woodcock cousens of my late dear wife Maria Nollekens, that they 
shall not be at the expences of the legacy duty videlicit, Mary Ann 
Woodcock and her sister Mrs. Cockell, wife of Mr. Cockell, Surgen, of 
Bronwick Terrace, Hackney Road this 20th day of November, 1818. 

Joseph Nollekens. 


Wm. Wingfield, 
George-street, Hanover-square. 

No. 5. 

I revoke the legacy or bequest in my foregoing Will contained of 
my property in the funds at the Bank of England the monies to arise 
by the sales in my said Will, directed the debts that shall be owing me 


at my decease, and all other the residue of my estate and effects to Mr. 
Francis Russell Palmer, Mr. Francis Douce, and Mr. Edward Balme 
equally between them ; and in lieu and stead thereof, I give and 
bequeath my said property in the funds at the Bank of England the 
said monies to arise by the aforesaid sales, the said debts that shall be 
owing to me at my decease and all other the said residue of my estate 
and effects whatsoever unto the said Francis Russell Palmer Francis 
Douse Edward Balme and the Reverend Mr. Kerrick in my said Will 
named equally to be divided between them the said Francis Russell 
Palmer Francis Douse Edward Balme and Mr. Kerrick And I 
publish and declare this to be a further Codicil to my said Will 
Witness my hand and seal this twenty-ninth day of January, One 
thousand eight hundred and nineteen. 

Joseph Nollekens, l.s. 
Signed, sealed, and published by the 
said Joseph Nollekens in the pre- 
sence of us, 

Henry Jeanneret, 
W. T. Stubbs. 

No. 6. 

I do hereby revoke every legacy and bequest by my Will or 
Codicils given to or in favour of, Dodemy, and also the legacy of one 
hundred pounds to Alexander Goblet and instead of the said last 
legacy, I give to the said Alexander Goblet an annuity of thirty 
pounds for his life to commence from my decease, and to be payable 
half-yearly. Witness my hand and seal the fifteenth day of April* 

Joseph Nollekens, l.s. 
Henry Jeanneret. 
Joseph Bonomi. 

No. 7. 

Mortimer street 27th September 1819. 

It is my desire that my executors do give as a present from me to 
Mrs. Elizabeth Gee widow of No. 4, King-street, Golden-square the 
sum of fifty pounds, as a token of my regard for her. 

And it is my desire that my executors do give, in the same manner 
as above, the sum of fifty pounds to Mrs. Ray, the wife of Lieut. Ray 
as a token of my regard for her and her ffamily like of my friend Mr. 
Trumbold in America. 

And it is my desire that twenty pounds shall be given to Mrs. 



Rouw the wife of Mr. Rouw the Modler for the regard I have for her, 
for her sole use and benefit, and the long slabb of marble in my yard 
shall be given to him for his own use. Also, that young Pastorini 
shall be given twenty pounds as a token of my regard for him. 

And it is my request that in case of the demise of my hair 
dresser Hancock a legacy of twenty pounds shall be given to his 

Joseph Nollekens. 
(Signed in the presence of me) 
John Worninck, D.D. &c. 
Camberwell Grove. 

No. 8. 

Whereas, by a former memorandum I had directed that the marble 
in the yard and the working tools in the study should be equally 
divided and one-half of the same given to Mr. Alexander Goblet I 
do hereby revoke such former direction and instead thereof do hereby 
will and direct that the whole of the said marble and all the working 
tools in the study be delivered by my Executors to the said Alexander 
Goblet for his sole use and benefit in consideration of his care and 
attention to me. 

And whereas in the aforesaid memorandum, I had directed that my 
books, drawings and prints should be sold by Mr. King, I do hereby 
direct that they be sold by Mr. Evans, of Pall Mall. 

Joseph Nollekens. 

February the 7th, 1820. 

No. 9. 

It is my desier that I wish that my executors will give as a presant 
the sum of fifty guineas unto Henry Goblet for the servises he has 

done for me. 

J. Nollekens. 
August 14th, 1820. 

No. 10. 

All the working tools in the shop I give to his father with the 
marble in the yard and the boards and utenserals for working the jack 
I lent to Lupto above a year ago he ought to return it I have paid 
and for what. 

J. Nollekens. 

This 14th of August, 1820. 

No. 11. 

This 28th day of January, 1822. 
Memorandum that in case of my death all the marble in the yard 
the tools in the shop Bankers mod tools for carving the rasp in the 


draw with and the draw in the parlour shall be the property of Alex. 


Joseph Nollekens. 
(Witness my hand.) 
Mary Holt. 

No. 12. 

Codicil to my Will. 
It is my request that the legacy of fifty pounds per annum which I 
have left in my Will, besides my cloaths and body linen left to Mary 
Fiery, now Mrs. Edmonds, be revoked, and I give the said fifty 
pounds per annum to Mary Holt for her life, together with my cloaths 
and body linen, for the care she has taken of me in my weak state of 
body. This is my desire, to which I set my hand and seal, this thirtieth 
day of July, Eighteen Hundred and Twenty-two. 

Joseph Nollekens, l.s. 
A. H. Chambert. 
Wm. Gadsby. 

No. 13. 

Since executing this Will, the Reverend Edward Balme, one of the 
Executors therein named, has departed this life, and I do therefore 
appoint as my Executors Sir William Beechy, Knight ; Francis 
Douce, Esquire ; and Thomas Smith, Esquire, of the British Museum, 
the joint Executors of this my Will ; and I do now hereby give to the 
said Sir William Beechy the sum of one hundred pounds for his 
trouble, and to the said Thomas Smith one hundred pounds for his 
trouble ; I do likewise hereby give and bequeath to Henry Francis 
Goblet, the son of Alexander Goblet, one hundred pounds, and to Mrs. 
Mary Holt the additional sum of one hundred pounds to what I may 
have already given her by this Will, which I do in all other respects 
hereby confirm ; as witness my hand, this sixth day of December, One 
Thousand Eight Hundred and Twenty-two. 

J. Nollekens. 

(Signed in the presence of us) 
John Meakin. 
Thomas Matthew. 

No. 14. 

It is my desire that my Executors pay to Mr. Peter Rouw, the 

Modeller, the sum of one hundred pounds. As witness my hand, this 

twenty-eighth day of December, One Thousand Eight Hundred and 


Joseph Nollekens. 

Died April 23rd, 1823. 



Funeral of Mr. Nollekens His wardrobe List of his intended 
bequests Professional anecdotes of him Modelling in full dress 
Taking casts from dead subjects His mask of Mr. Pitt Statue 
erected at Cambridge Mrs. Siddons's remarks on it Economy and 
profits of the sculptor Bust of Lord Londonderry Economy in 
fuel Fuseli's opinion of Nollekens His bust of Mr. Coutts ; 
anecdotes of its execution His collection of casts and models- 
Wigs painted by Lely and Kneller Wycherley and Fielding wigs 
Old system of wig-stealing Mr. Nollekens' features of likeness 
in his busts His busts of Mr. Fox. 

On the day of the funeral, May 1, 1823, at eleven 
o'clock, the hour proposed for the meeting of the 
carriages invited to attend it, only four appeared, 
namely, the Hon. Thomas Grenville's, Mr. Cham- 
bers', Mr. Palmer's ; and last of all, that which 
the mob saluted as my Lord Mayor's. The cry 
was, ' Lord Mayor ! Lord Mayor !' ' Lord Mayor !' 
rejoined the stately coachman, drawing on his 
sable glove ; ' the Duke of Wellington's, if you 
please Lord Mayor, indeed !' and really the coach 
and dressings were truly splendid, and worthy of 
so noble a Duke. The Kev. Thomas Kerrick, 1 or, 
in true spelling, Kerrich, Principal Librarian to the 

1 Thomas Kerrick, of Dersingham, was University Librarian from 
1797 to his death in 1828, at the age of eighty. He was a very skilful 
architectural and antiquarian draughtsman. Ed. 


University of Cambridge, did not appear. The 
mourners were all in waiting ; and Mr. Douce 
arrived at twelve. The street-lamp-irons and win- 
dows were thronged to see ' The Miser's Funeral ;' 
and all was now in silent motion. 

The first coach contained Francis Douce, Esq., 
an executor, and one of the residuary legatees. 
Sir William Beechey, also an executor, but not a 
residuary legatee, was obliged to attend his own 
interests in touching up his pictures in the Royal 
Academy Room, previous to the opening of the 
Exhibition. The second in the coach was the late 
Dr. Simmonds, of Chiswick, an old and steady 
friend to the deceased ; the third was Russel 
Palmer, Esq., the son of Mrs. Palmer, an acquaint- 
ance of some standing with the deceased ; and the 
fourth was myself, an executor, but, like Sir 
William Beechey, no residuary legatee. The other 
mourners were, Mr. Woodcock, a cousin of Mrs. 
Nollekens, to whom a small legacy had been left ; 
Mr. Nelson Beechey, for his father -} Mr. Christie, 
the auctioneer, the gentleman who sold part of the 
property ; Raphael and Benjamin West, Esquires, 
sons of the late venerable President ; the Rev. 
Stephen Weston ; Mr. Jeanneret, who was sent 
for after Mr. Nollekens' death to read the will ; 
Mr. Gahagan ; Mr. Goblet, sen., and his son ; Mr. 
Rouw, 2 Mr. Taylor, and Mr. Soilleux. 

Early on the day of the funeral, when Sir 
William Beechey and myself found that Mr. Peck, 

1 Sir William Beechey, R.A. Ed. 

2 Peter Rouw, jun. (1771-1852), the gem-engraver. Ed. 


one of Mr. Nollekens' two nearest relations, had 
not been included in the list of those invited, we 
immediately directed Mr. Turner, the undertaker, 
to send a coach to the Temple for that gentleman, 
but it arrived too late for him to attend. 

Being now in a state of motion, the conversation 
between Dr. Simmonds and myself fell upon the 
notices in the newspapers respecting the very 
extraordinary manner in which it was stated that 
Mr. Nollekens' money was to be distributed. As 
the coach in which I was turned round Harley 
Street, I had a perfect view of the procession, and 
the crowd that followed the Duke of Wellington's 
carriage was immense ; it was a new one, built for 
state occasions. By the time we got into the New 
Road, the concourse of people was beyond all 
conception ; for it was May-Day, and the chimney- 
sweepers in their trappings, and the Jacks-in-the- 
green, or Bunter's Garland, had all followed what 
they still looked upon as my Lord Mayor's coach. 
Indeed, so strongly was this believed by the drivers 
of the Paddington stages, whose horses were gaily 
decked with ribbons of various dies, that they, out 
of respect or fear of the City Magistrate, fell back 
and slowly followed the Duke's coach. 

Bv the time we had arrived at the Yorkshire 
Stingo, a crowd of milkmaids and maidservants, 
who had been dancing and drinking on the green 
all the morning, so choked up the turnpike, that 
for some time a stoppage took place. At last, the 
mob finding it to be only a funeral, and that it 
was going to Paddington, the greater part of our 


company left us, to follow their accustomed 
gambols. On our arrival at the churchyard, Old 
Dodimy was waiting to see the last of his master, 
with whom had he remained, most likely he would 
have had the annuity of thirty pounds once 
bequeathed him, but since transferred to Lewis 
Goblet, sculptor, as a reward for his long and 
faithful services. Before this time, however, 
Goblet was not noticed, though he had received 
many assurances from Mr. Nollekens that he had 
left him and his family comfortably in his will. 

When the funeral was over, Mr. Douce returned 
from the churchyard to his house in Kensington 
Square and most of the other mourners returned 
to the house of the deceased, in order to hear the 
will read. This I, as an executor, firmly insisted 
upon, and it was accordingly read in the presence of 
many persons. 

Some time was employed by two of the executors 
and the three solicitors, in looking over Mr. Nolle- 
kens' property, before the will was proved. At 
one of these meetings, Mr. Nollekens' wardrobe 
was inspected, when we found it to consist of his 
court-coat of Pourpre de Pape, in which he was 
married ; his hat, sword, and bag ; two shirts, two 
pairs of worsted stockings, one table-cloth, three 
sheets, and two pillow-cases ; but all these were in 
such a state of decay, that, with other rags, Mrs. 
Holt informed me she could only procure one 
pound jive shillings for her legacy. His smart 
green velvet cap, one of the two kindly presented 
to him by a lady, Mrs. Holt presented to a friend. 


During the investigation of his papers, I was in 
anxious expectation of finding a will subsequent to 
the one produced, as he had been for years in 
the habit of signing many wills, in all of which 
he assured me he had recollected me and my 
family, ' That you may depend upon, Tom,' were his 
words. In the year 1810, he showed me a list of the 
names of one hundred persons, to every one of whom 
he said he intended to leave one thousand pounds ! 

Mr. Nollekens, who had been extremely intimate 
with Mr. Zoffany, when approaching his eightieth 
year, offered his hand to his widow, who very 
civilly declined it, prudently observing: c No, sir; 
the world would then say, She has married him for 
his money.' Mrs. Zoffany, when she found poor 
Bronze had been set down in his will for only 
19 19s., very generously gave Mrs. Holt a guinea 
for her, long before she received her own legacy. 

Having illustrated the peculiar manners of Mr. 
Nollekens in his ordinary life, I shall now intro- 
duce a few professional anecdotes of him as an 
artist, which will probably be not less amusing to 
the reader. 

During the time an illustrious personage was 
sitting for his bust, he could not refrain from 
smiling at his friend, who stood behind Nollekens, 
at the truly ridiculous manner in which the artist 
had inconvenienced himself for the occasion. His 
powdered toupet, 1 which was stiffly pomatumed, 

1 Mr. Nollekens, when at Rome, wore his long hair tied up in a 
club. When he arrived in England he commenced wearing hair- 
powder, and continued the use of it till his hair became thin ; he 


stood pointedly erect ; and he had, for the first 
time, put on a coat, to which the tailor had given 
an enormously high buckramed cape, so that, like 
Allscrip's, in ' The Heiress,' his head appeared as 
if it were in the pillory. To look over this cape, 
Nollekens had for some time painfully exerted 
himself, by stretching his neck to its fullest pos- 
sible extent ; but, as he proceeded with his model, 
his body by degrees relaxed, and his head at last 
was so completely buried within the cape, that 
nothing but the pinnacle of his toupet was visible 
above it. This ridiculous exit of Nollekens' head 
so operated upon the risibility of the noble sitter, 
that, at last, he irresistibly indulged in a liberal fit 
of laughter, which so irritated the little sculptor, 
who had for some time noticed their smiles, that, 
instead of good-temperedly finding fault with the 
tailor, he lost sight of propriety, and thrusting his 
thumb into the mouth of the model, impetuously 
exclaimed, with a treble wag of his head, 4 If you 
laugh, I'll make a fool of ye !' 

Nollekens, after reading the death of any great 
person in the newspaper, generally ordered some 
plaster to be got ready, so that he might attend at 
a minute's notice. One day, when a lady who had 
sent for him desired him not to make so free with 
her dear husband's corpse, he observed, ' Oh, bless 
ye, you had better let me close his eyelids ; for 
then, when I cast him in my mould, he'll look 
for all the world as if he was asleep. Why do 

then, at the recommendation of Caleb Whitefoord, had it all cut off, 
and wore a natural wig without powder. Smith. 


you take on so ? you do wrong to prey upon such 
a dismal prospect ; do leave the room to me and 
my man ; I am used to it, it makes no impression 
on me ; I have got a good many noted down in my 

Mr. Sebastian Gahagan, the sculptor, Mr. Nolle- 
kens' assistant, attended him to cast the face of 
Lord Lake, after his decease ; his lordship's brother 
was then inconsolably pacing the room, but Mr. 
Nollekens shook him by the elbow, and applied to 
him for a little sweet- oil, a large basin, some water, 
and pen, ink, and paper. 

The gentleman, astonished at his want of 
decency, referred him to the servant ; and Nolle- 
kens, after he had taken the mask, muttered the 
following soliloquy : ' Now, let me see, I must 
begin to measure him ; where's my callipers ? I 
must take him from his chin to the upper pinnacle 
of his head ; I'll put him down in ink ; ay, that will 
do ; now, I must have him from his nose to the 
back part of his skull ; well, now let's take his 
shoulders ; now for his neck ; well, now I've got 
him all.' 

On Mr. Nollekens' return from Putney Common, 
after taking Mr. Pitt's mask, he observed to Mr. 
Gahagan, pointing to it on the opposite seat of the 
coach : c There, I would not take fifty guineas for 
that mask, I can tell ye.' He would have done 
wrong if he had ; for from this mask and Hoppner's 
picture, which was lent him by Lord Mulgrave, he 
was enabled to produce the statue erected in the 
Senate-house of Cambridge, for which he received 


three thousand guineas. Mr. Gahagan carved this 
statue of Pitt, for which Mr. Nollekens paid him, 
I am sorry to say, a miserably small sum ; and I 
really think, those who now bask in the sunshine 
of Mr. Nollekens' immense wealth should take into 
consideration the letter which he addressed to the 
executors shortly after the death of his old master. 
Mr. George Lupton, the statuary, of Keppel 
Row, New Road, informed me that he went to 
Cambridge with his men to put up Mr. Pitt's monu- 
ment ; and when he had erected the pedestal upon 
which it was to stand, he wrote to Mr. Nollekens 
and informed him of its being ready ; but as he 
did not come immediately, Mr. Lupton placed the 
figure upon it. Soon after this Mr. Nollekens 
arrived, and exclaimed : 4 Thank God ! it is up.' 
He went to Cambridge in a verv shabbv coat, not- 

O 1/1/ 

withstanding he intended to accept the invitation of 
the heads of the University, and to feed upon what 
Lupton called ' the fat of the land ' ; the Rev. 
Thomas Kerrick being one of his feeders. It is 
said that Nollekens charged 1,000 for Pitt's 
pedestal ; but Lupton assured me that he had only 
12 for the working expenses, and that Nollekens 
bought the stone remarkably cheap at Mr. Deval's 
sale, he thinks at about nine shillings the cube foot. 
He also farther observed that Chantrey was nothing 
to Nollekens, with respect to his charges. 

The erection of this effigy was thus noticed by 
Prince Hoare, Esq., in his Academic Annals of 
1809 : ' Statue of the Right Hon. William Pitt, to 
be placed in the Senate-house in the University of 


Cambridge, by general subscription of the Mem- 
bers of the University. (Executed by Joseph 
Nollekens, R.A.) This great statesman and orator 
is represented in the act of speaking, holding a roll 
of paper in his left hand. The attitude is designed 
to convey an idea of that commanding energy and 
decision with which he was accustomed to address 
the House of Commons. He is habited in the 
gown worn by the Masters of Arts in the University. 
The statue is to be erected in the Senate-house, at 
the eastern end of the room, in the place where the 
figure of Glory at present stands.' 

' The Guide through the University of Cam- 
bridge,' published in 1814, after describing the 
statue of the Duke of Somerset by Eysbrack, 
states, c that on the right is a statue of the Right 
Hon. W. Pitt, erected at the expense of different 
Members of the University, upwards of 7,000 
being subscribed for that purpose. This statue 
was executed by Nollekens, and is considered by 
many good judges to be his chef-d'oeuvre.' 

Mr. Knight, one of the principal superintendents 
of the works at the New London Bridge, informed 
me that when Mrs. Siddons arrived to look at this 
statue, Mr. Nollekens was touching up the drapery, 
and that he heard that lady remark to the sculptor 
that, in her opinion, he was frittering the folds. 
Nollekens at first replied only by a kind of double 
grunt ; but when that lady left the studio he 
declared that he was glad she was gone, for she 
knew nothing about the matter. Now, in the 
opinion of several artists of eminence, Mrs. Siddons, 


who has very fine taste, and a considerable share of 
talent as a modeller, was perfectly correct. Many 
of my readers may remember the head of Adam, 
which Mrs. Siddons exhibited at the Koyal Academy 
some years back j 1 but very few can recollect that 
performance with more pleasure than myself. 

When Mr. Nollekens had finished the monument 
of the three Captains, ordered by Government to 
be erected in Westminster Abbey, it remained in 
his studio for nearly fourteen years, waiting for 
the inscription ; and he being at last out of all 
patience, petitioned the late King, then at Wey- 
mouth, to take it into his roval consideration. The 
late Mr. Pitt was so highly displeased at his inter- 
ference that he never would sit to Mr. Nollekens 
for his bust, nor recommend him in any way what- 
ever ; and yet it is a fact that, after the decease of 
that great statesman, Mr. Nollekens made no less 
a sum by him than 15,000, according to the follow- 
ing calculation. The statue and pedestal for Trinity 
College, Cambridge, 4,000. 

He also executed at least seventy-four busts in 
marble, for almost every one of which he had one 
hundred and twenty guineas ; and there were 
upwards of six hundred casts taken at six guineas 
each. The marble for the figure did not ultimately 
cost him more than 20 ; for he had so cunningly 
economized the block that he cut from the corners 
several pieces for various busts : and even farther 
than this, the block not being long enough by the 
depth of Mr. Pitt's head, he contrived to drill out 

1 In the year 1802. Ed. 


a lump from between the legs large enough for the 
head, which he put on the shoulders of the block. 
The arm was also carved from a single piece ; and 
yet for this figure, pieced in a manner which the 
sculptors of Italy would have been ashamed of , he 
received the unheard-of price of three thousand 
guineas, and one thousand for the pedestal ; giving 
the sculptor who carved it only the odd 300 for 
his trouble. For the busts in marble he paid 
Gahagan, Goblet, and another sculptor of inferior 
merit, 24 each upon the average. 

When the late Marquis of Londonderry was 
sitting for his bust, coals were at an enormous 
price ; and the noble lord, who had been for some 
time shivering in his seat, took the opportunity, 
when the sculptor went out for more clay, of 
throwing some coals upon the fire. ' Oh, my good 
lord ! I don't know what Mr. Nollekens will say V 
exclaimed Mrs. Nollekens, who was bolstered up 
and bound to an old night-chair by the fireside. 
4 Never mind, my good lady,' answered his lord- 
ship ; ' tell him to put them into my bill.' 
Lonsdale, 1 the portrait-painter, who found him one 
severe winter's evening starving himself before a 
handful of fire, requested to be permitted to throw 
a few coals on ; and before Mr. Nollekens could 
reply, on they were. 

Lonsdale, strongly suspecting that they would be 
taken off as soon as he was gone, was determined 
to be convinced ; and when he had reached the 

1 James Lonsdale (1777-1839). He took Opie's house, and suc- 
ceeded to part of his practice. Ed. 


street-door, pretended to have forgotten something, 
reascended to the room, and found him, as he 
suspected, taking them off with the fire-feeder, so 
strongly recommended to him by the Bishop of 
St. Asaph, at the same time muttering to himself: 
c Shameful ! shameful extravagance !' He never 
left the kind-hearted Lonsdale a legacy ; at least, I 
know of none, though it was his intention to have 
put him down in a former will for 1,000. 

John Knowles, Esq., the friend, and for many 
years the constant companion, of Fuseli, com- 
municated to me the remarks which that artist 
made to him respecting the talents of Nollekens. 

' Mr. Coutts said to me yesterday,' observed 
Fuseli, ' " My family have urged me to sit for a bust 
to be executed in marble. Now, as you know, 
Fuseli, that the price is not an object, pray tell me 
who you think will execute it best ?" I had no 
difficulty in doing this, for, though Nollekens is 
superannuated in many particulars, yet in a bust 
he stands unrivalled. If Mr. Coutts had required 
a group of figures, I should have recommended 
Flaxman, but for a bust, give me Nollekens.' 

This bust of the late Mr. Coutts, the banker, was 
one of Nollekens' last productions, and one in 
which he appeared to take much pleasure, but I 
must say that, as to likeness, it is certainly 
ridiculously severe. In my mind, it displays the 
distorted features of a distressed person labouring 
under the heavy pangs of poverty, penury, or 
peevishness, neither of which cheerless character- 
istics did Mr. Coutts at any period of his life 



possess. Indeed, it is what I deem a Cruikshank- 
caricature countenance. Chantrey has succeeded 
much better, and, indeed, completely, in his statue 
of him. This statue is placed in the Duchess of 
St. Alban's drawing-room, in her Grace's town- 
house, Piccadilly. Mrs. Nollekens assured me that 
during the numerous sittings which that wealthy 
man gave Mr. Nollekens, no one could be more 
attentive to him than Mrs. Coutts, who never failed 
to bring with her in her carriage some of the most 
delicious and comforting soups or refreshments 
that could possibly be made, which she herself 
warmed in a saucepan over the parlour fire : ' and 
I declare, my good sir,' continued Mrs. Nollekens, 
' I believe it did me as much good to see old Mr. 
Coutts enjoy every spoonful of it as it would have 
done had it passed through my own mouth.' 

These savoury-soup scenes must have been 
comically curious, as well as truly melancholy ; for 
at that time Mrs. Nollekens was in her last stage 
of existence, with her spine nearly bent double. 
A wry neck had much twisted her head, which, in 
the best possible position, reclined upon a wing of 
a nurse's old-fashioned high-backed night-chair, 
covered with a broad chequered red and white 
stuff; and her swollen legs, which were almost 
useless, were placed upon a stool for the day by 
her ' flesh-brush rubber,' a woman who regularly 
attended her for an hour every morning. In the 
latter part of Mrs. Nollekens' life her husband 
would frequently make drawings of her, either in 
her chair, or as her maid was leading her up or 


down stairs ; these sketches he showed to Mr. 
Jackson, observing to him, even in her presence, 
4 Only see how much she has altered in a short 
time ! That drawing I made in July, and this in 
August.' ' Ay, sir,' observed Mrs. Nollekens, who 
was almost bent double in the great arm-chair, 
' you never would make a drawing of me when I 
was fit to be seen.' Mr. Coutts was blowing his 
broth, attended by Mrs. Coutts, a lively woman, 
most fashionably dressed : whilst Nollekens, to use 
the commonest of all similes, nearly as deaf as 
a post, was prosecuting his bust, and at the same 
time repeating his loud interrogations as to the 
price of stocks to his sitter, who had twice most 
good-temperedly stayed the spoon when it was con- 
siderably more than half-way to his mouth, and 
turned his head to answer him. As for the old 
conversation upon his early amusement of bell- 
tolling, that was a pleasure our artist had given up 
ever since he became a patient of the celebrated 
aurist, Mr. Maule, who advised him by all means 
to keep his ears well stuffed with cotton. 

Mr. Henning, 1 the sculptor, when employed by 
Lady Moira to make a model in wax from Lord 
Moira's bust by Nollekens, was under the necessity 
of ^oino; to the artist's house to take the likeness, 
and he was in hope, from a man standing so high 
in his profession, that he should derive considerable 
benefit from his conversation ; but in this expecta- 
tion he was, after repeatedly trying to bring him 
into discourse, most grievously disappointed. Mr. 

1 John Henning (1771-1851). Ed. 


Henning had been previously introduced to Mr. 
Nollekens by his old friend, James Dawkins, Esq., 
who would now and then joke him as to his 
Venuses. Mr. Henning informed me, that Mr. 
Dawkins assured him that his uncle's work of 
Palmyra and Balbeck had cost him no less a sum 
than 50,000, his attendants in the deserts being so 
numerous that he seldom had fewer than three 
hundred men to protect him and assist in his dis- 
coveries. Surely this noble enterprise demands 
the most liberal notice of the future biographer of 
Mr. Dawkins. 

Fiamingo's models of boys were great favourites 
with Mr. Nollekens : he had several originals in 
clay, which he procured from Antwerp, and upon 
which he placed so high a value that, though 
frequent and considerable offers were made, he 
would not part with them. Indeed, he would not 
even listen to his nattering friend Angelica Kauff- 
mann, who practised her wheedlings to the fullest 
extent of her fascinating powers to become mistress 
of only one of the most inferior of his collection. 

He laid out little money in England for plaster 
casts, for most of those he possessed he brought 
from Rome, unless Papera, who in the commence- 
ment of his career carried the new things round 
to the artists in baskets, brought him a Fiamingo 
child which he had never seen. I recollect a basso- 
relievo of boys which he admired very much until 
Papera named John Deare as the modeller, when 
his admiration, I am sorry to say, decreased into 
the following remarks : ' Yes, it is ; he is a clever 


fellow, certainly, but I don't see the wonderful 
merit in his Marine Venus that Sir Eichard 
Worsley talks so much about ; and there's Mr. 
Penn, with his Landing of Julius Caesar, it's a 
clever thing, and so I have always told him.' 

Nollekens, whenever he could contrive it, avoided 
a representation of flowing hair in marble, particu- 
larly in curled wigs, though in his bust of Lord 
Chancellor Bathurst he was obliged to attend 
strictly to costume. The manner in which the wig 
of that bust is modelled proves what I firmly 
believe to be the fact, that such profusion of hair 
either perplexed him or was too expensive in the 
workmanship. Indeed, his master, Scheemakers, 
never shone in the art of wig-making, as his bust 
of Sir Hans Sloane in the British Museum suffici- 
ently proves. His predecessor, Bird, in the wig of 
Sir Cloudesley Shovel in Westminster Abbey, bad 
as it is, was more successful in its tooling. That 
of Dr. Lockyer, in Saint Mary Overies, and those 
on the statues of Sir John Cutler, in the College 
of Physicians and Grocers' Hall, are very little 

Koubiliac's statue of Sir John Cass, at Saint 
Botolph's, Aldgate, exhibits a particularly tasteful 
wig j 1 but, notwithstanding his skill displayed in 
that instance, he was not fond of introducing it, 
and endeavoured to persuade his sitters to take 
their wigs off. His busts of Pope, Lord Boling- 

1 This fine statue has lately been most villainously painted of 
various colours, in order to make it appear as natural as life, or like 
the Westminster Abbey waxwork. Smith. 


broke, Martin Folkes, Doctors Mead and Frewin, 
and numerous others of men of literature, are 
without wigs. Jonathan Richardson has etched 
his own portrait and that of Lord Somers in flow- 
ing wigs, and these two prints exhibit more flow of 
curl and spirit of needle than any I can instance. 
Indeed, they are complete specimens of tasteful 
flowing hair, and yet Richardson has also etched 
his own head, and many more of Lord Bolingbroke 
and Pope, without wigs, which proves that he pre- 
ferred the natural shape of the head. 

Nollekens' bust of Dr. Johnson is without his 
wig, but with very thick and heavy locks, which 
much displeased the doctor, who insisted upon it 
that all persons should be portrayed as they are 
seen in company ; adding, that though a man for 
ease may wear a night-cap in his own chamber, he 
ought not to look like one who had taken physic. 
I recollect that Wilkie, the Academician, once 
observed to an artist who was about to paint his 
own portrait without his cravat, with his shirt- 
collar thrown open to exhibit his neck, c Oh, don't 
do that ; you'll look as if you were going to be 

In the representation of hair, the spirited painter 
has a decided superiority over the most exquisite 
and dexterous sculptor ; not only in colour and 
texture, but also as to time. The former is 
enabled to produce in one hour with his elastic and 
oily pencil as much as would take the latter six 
weeks with his chisel and drill ; as may be seen in 
the beautifully flowing hair of Vandyke, Dobson, 

WIGS 391 

Lely, and Kneller, and the laboured works of the 
best sculptors. The difference in a Lely wig from 
that of a Kneller, is that the former generally falls 
down the shoulders in front, and the latter is 
thrown over the shoulders behind. 

It must, however, be understood, that though 
Kneller and Lely thus differed, they did not paint 
all their sitters according to their own fashion of 
wearing their wigs. On the contrary, we find by 
Blooteling's print of Thomas, Earl of Danby, that 
his wig was peculiar. At the bottom of the sides 
of the wig, which falls over the front of the 
shoulders, there are three regularly distinct curls 
stiffly rolled up. But of all the wig-dandies of 
those days, the Duke of Ormond appears to have 
been the most fanciful ; and I am supported in 
this conjecture by the four different portraits of 
that nobleman, engraven by Faithorne, Loggan, 
Williams, and White ; which, though they all 
have large and flowing wigs, conspicuously vary in 
their modes of curling. 

It may possibly be within the recollection of 
some few of my readers, when gentlemen indulged 
in an immensely expensive purchase of deep and 
flowing curled wigs, such as Wycherley and ' Beau 
Fielding ' wore ; and I have been credibly in- 
formed, that the enormous sum of fifty guineas 
was given by the best-dressing men of the time 
for a truly fashionable wig of the above descrip- 
tion. Such wigs continued to be worn by many 
men of the old school during the latter part of 
the profession of Zincke, the enamel-painter, whose 


portraits exhibit many of them. Sir James Thorn- 
hill and Jonathan Richardson wore flowing wigs, 
and so likewise did Sir James' son-in-law, Hogarth, 
in the early part of his professional career. In the 
latter years of his life, he wore a Busby wig when 
dressed ; though, whilst painting, he preferred a 
velvet cap. There are persons now living who 
recollect seeing the father of the late Mr. Prime, 
of Witton, 1 wearing a flowing wig, or what is 
better known in the burletta of c Tom Thumb ' as a 
Doodle and a Noodle. 

Mrs. Nollekens has frequently been heard to 
relate, that during the early part of Mr. Welch's 
magistracy, gentlemen were continually annoyed, 
and frequently robbed of their wigs in the open 
street and in mid-day. She stated that this method 
of wig- stealing was singularly daring, as well as 
laughably curious. A man dressed like a baker, 
bending beneath a large, loaded bread-basket, 
which he had hoisted upon his shoulders, waited 
until the first gentleman wearing a costly wig was 
about to turn the corner of a street in a crowded 
thoroughfare ; and then, just as an accomplice ran 
forcibly against him, a boy concealed in the baker's 
basket knocked off the gentleman's gold-laced hat, 
and instantly snatched his wig. Whilst the gentle- 
man was stooping to pick up his hat, the fictitious 
baker made off, with his dexterous assistant, till 
he came to the first convenient turning, where he 

1 This gentleman resided in the house which had been the mansion 
of Sir Godfrey Kneller, the staircase of which, painted by that artist, 
remains perfectly in its original state. Smith. 


released the boy, who walked away with his booty 
neatly folded up in a school- boy's satchel, which 
he threw carelessly over his shoulder, as if slowly 
going to school, with his round, c shining morning 
face ;' leaving the baker with a loaf or two in his 
basket, pretending to be waiting at a customer's 
door, at which it was supposed he had knocked. 

After numerous depredations of this kind, the 
bakers' men, who were avoided by the Wycher- 
leys, 1 were determined not to be mistaken, and 
no longer carried their baskets hoisted on their 
shoulders, but swung them over the arm, and have 
ever since carried them at their backs ; so that the 
wearers of wigs might see the contents of their 

But to return to our sculptor. In my opinion, 
Mr. Nollekens trusted more to the eyes, nose, and 
mouth for a likeness, than to the bones of the 
head ; and in this belief I am supported most 
powerfully by the mask taken from Mr. Fox after 
his death. Mr. Nollekens modelled and carved 
two different busts of Mr. Fox. The first was 
with a toupet and curls above the ears, as that 

1 From Smith's portrait of Wycherley, engraven in 1703, we may 
conclude that he was, as reported, a very handsome man, and, by the 
sleekness of the curls of his wig, that he took great pains with it ; 
indeed, so much was it the fashion to attend to the easy grace of the 
curls, that it was his custom, while standing in the pit of the theatre 
conversing with ladies in the boxes, to comb and adjust his discom- 
posed locks. Wig-combs, which were made of most beautiful speci- 
mens of tortoiseshell, and most fancifully engraven with representations 
of flowers and birds, and, indeed, sometimes inlaid with mother-of- 
pearl with their owners' names, were contained in a side-pocket case 
of the size of a thin octavo volume, for the purpose of having them 
always about their persons. Smith. 


gentleman wore his hair about 1783, just as Sir 
Joshua Reynolds has painted him ; of which bust 
there are several engravings, the carving being by 
T. Gaugain. 1 The second bust is with his hair cut 
close ; and of this there are two plates : one by 
Skelton, for the small edition of Fox's c Life of 
King James the Second,' and the other by Evans, 
from a beautiful drawing by Mr. Howard, for the 
large edition of the same work. Of the mask 
taken by Nollekens after death, I am not aware of 
there being any engraving ; ghastly as it is, and 
totally unlike as the features are to those of Mr. 
Fox when living, still the shape of the forehead is 
truly remarkable and interesting. In his busts of 
that statesman, the foreheads are low and rugged ; 
whilst that of the mask is even, high, and pro- 
minent, full of dignified grandeur, and more so, 
perhaps, with the exception of Lord Bacon, than 
that of any other statesman of equal celebrity. 
The reader may be convinced of the correctness of 
this remark by visiting Mr. Deville's Gallery in 
the Strand, where there are casts taken from both 

1 Thomas Gaugain (1748-1802 ?) was a French engraver, settled in 
London. Ed. 

[ 395 ] 


Sale of Mr. Nollekens' collection of sculpture Mending antiques 
Sale of his prints, etc. Account of his seated female figure 
Patrons of modern English sculptors Antique foot Sir Joshua 
Reynolds' throne-chair List of busts, monuments, and statues 
executed by Nollekens Chronological list of all his sculptures 
exhibited at the Royal Academy, from 1771 to 1816 Conclusion. 

The sale of Mr. Nollekens' unsold works, and 
collection of antique and modern sculptures, took 
place under the hammer of Mr. Christie, on the 
premises in Mortimer Street, on Thursday, July 3, 
1823, and at the auctioneer's rooms in Pall Mall, 
on the two days following. The collection con- 
sisted of many of Mr. Nollekens' original models, 
carvings in marble, and works by Italian and other 
artists, particularly Michael Angelo and Fiamingo. 
Mr. Nollekens' statue of a standing Venus in 
marble, pouring ambrosia on her hair, was pur- 
chased by Mrs. Palmer for 231 ; a and his model 
of a sitting Venus was bought by the Earl of 
Egremont. The antique marbles consisted of a 
statue of Minerva, a noble bust of Commodus, 

1 This figure is by no means so good as the one of Venus chiding 
Cupid, executed by the same artist for his liberal patron Lord Yar- 
borough. Smith. 


in perfect condition, and several other Imperial 
busts ; one of Mercury, and a very spirited head of 
a faun, chiefly purchased at the sales of the late 
B. Bond Hopkins, Esq., at Pain's Hill, and at the 
Earl of Be[s]sborough's, at Boehampton. These 
antiques, which were mostly purchased by the 
Duke of Newcastle, brought full thirtv times the 
money they had cost Mr. Nollekens. His method 
of mending antiques was rather curious : he would 
mix the dust of the sort of stone he was mending 
with his plaster ; so that when dry, if the antiques 
were of Pentallic marble, the sparkling of the 
stone-dust in a great measure disguised the joining 
or mended parts. Mr. Boubiliac, when he had 
to mend a broken antique, would mix grated 
Gloucester cheese with his plaster, adding the 
grounds of porter and the yolk of an egg ; which 
mixture, when dry, forms a very hard cement. 

Mr. Nollekens' prints, drawings, and books of 
prints, were sold by M. Evans, in Pall Mall, on 
Thursday, December 4, 1823. They principally 
consisted of nearly the entire works of Nicolas 
Poussin ; a fine collection of the engravings after 
Sir Joshua Reynolds' pictures ; several sketch- 
books filled by Mr. Nollekens when at Borne, and 
numerous drawings also by him, made upon the 
backs of letters. 

Nollekens' figure with the sandal, carved for 
Lord Yarborough, was considerably the greatest 
favourite with the public of all his female figures ; 
but that which he himself took the greatest delight 
in showing, was seated with her arms round her 


legs, Lot 21, purchased at his sale at Mr. Christie's, 
by the Earl of Egremont, for the sum of 84 ; his 
lordship giving it the preference to other works 
by the same artist. He engaged Mr. Kossi, the 
Academician, to execute it in marble, with strict 
injunctions that no alterations whatever, not even an 
improvement upon the model, should be attempted. 
In giving this order, his lordship was, in my humble 
opinion, perfectly correct ; for, if improvements had 
been made, it could no longer have been esteemed 
as a production of Nollekens' mind ; though I am 
perfectly convinced, that had the figure been carved 
under his own eye, it would in many instances have 
been benefited by those corrections which most 
sculptors are induced to make whilst they are 
executing finished carvings from their models. 

Mr. Williams, 1 who carved this figure under the 
superintendence of Mr. Rossi, assured me that in 
no instance could he have been engaged upon a 
more difficult task, especially in carving parts that 
were so intricately undercut ; as the right hand of 
the figure placed before the right leg, was within a 
quarter of an inch of the shin-bone, and he had to 
invent tools of the most singular shapes to enable 
him to cut and file away the stone. It was the 
opinion of most artists, that many parts of this 
figure could have been much improved : they 
thought the ankles unquestionably too thick ; and 
that, to have given it an air. of the antique, the 
right thigh wanted flesh to fill up the ill-formed 

1 Probably John Thomas Williams, a gem engraver, who undertook 
some sculpture of a secondary character. Ed. 


nature which Nollekens had strictly copied. The 
abdomen was far from good ; and the face was too 
old, and of a common character ; but the back was 
considered extremely beautiful. The attitude was 
a natural one, and acquired by mere chance, as 
good attitudes often are. 

The woman from whom it was modelled, after 
standing for some time to Mr. Nollekens for parts 
of a figure on which he was then engaged, was 
desired to dress ; and, upon her seating herself on 
the ground, to put on her stockings, her posture so 
pleased the sculptor, that he immediately cried, 
' Stop ! don't move ; I must model you as you now 
sit !' and it is a curious fact, that he, being at that 
time Visitor of the Eoyal Academy, placed the 
woman who sat as the model there precisely in 
the same position. It is also rather singular, that 
the above-mentioned Mr. Williams, who carved the 
figure for Mr. Rossi, is in possession of a drawing 
made by his father at the Academy, from the 
female who was so placed. 

When Mr. Nollekens had completed this model, 
the late Earl of Carlisle purchased it, with an 
intention of having it carved in marble, and placed 
with the numerous other works of art at Castle 
Howard ; but upon some family objections being 
made, his lordship gave the artist a portion of the 
purchase-money to resign his bargain, and it 
actually remained unsold for many years previous 
to the death of our sculptor. It is now, however, 
honoured with a pedestal at Petworth, amidst 
numerous specimens of modern Art, of which 


Lord Egremont, to his eternal honour be it spoken, 
is a most liberal encourager. This nobleman is 
not only in possession of Mr. Kossi's beautiful 
group of Celadon and Amelia, but, I am happy to 
state, has also commissioned the same artist to 
execute another figure for him. His lordship will 
likewise have the good fortune to possess the group 
of the Angel Michael and Satan, one of the 
grandest works of the late Professor Flaxman, and 
perhaps equal to the productions of this, or any 
age of former times. The modern sculptors, how- 
ever, are not only indebted to the patronage of the 
above nobleman, but also to that of their Graces 
the Dukes of Devonshire, Bedford and Newcastle, 
who are in possession of some of the finest speci- 
mens of their abilities. Indeed, our sculptors of 
talent have so glorious a patron in his most 
gracious Majesty, 1 that the greatest part of the 
nobility and persons of opulence endeavour to vie 
with each other in the decoration of their halls and 
galleries ; and in a few years, it may reasonably be 
expected, the mansions of wealthy Englishmen will 
exhibit such a display of native talent, that it will 
at once astonish and confound most of our Conti- 
nental visitors and rivals. 

Sir Thomas Lawrence is the fortunate possessor 
of an antique foot, valued by Nollekens as highly as 
any specimen in his collection ; of which precious 
relic he has been heard to tell the following story. 
When he was at Home, he often endeavoured to 
persuade Cardinal Albani, to whom it belonged, to 

1 George III. Ed. 


part with it, but without success. At last, when 
Nollekens was about to come to England, the 
Cardinal, who knew no other way of getting 
possession of a female torso, which Nollekens 
possessed, gave him the foot for it. 

It has also been stated that the Cardinal stole the 
foot in order to give it to Nollekens ; and some, 
who stick at nothing, have said that Nollekens stole 
it from the Cardinal. This, however, I do not 
believe, as I never will encourage the thought of 
his being dishonest, or even in the slightest degree 
dishonourable. It is now kept by Sir Thomas 
Lawrence, under a glass shade ; and it must have 
measured one foot five inches and a quarter from 
the heel to the great toe, before the tip of that 
member was mutilated. Sir Thomas Lawrence, 
when first he acquired it, was inclined to consider 
it as belonging to the famous torso, the marble 
being the same, and the proportions agreeing most 
perfectly ; but, upon a little reflection, the president 
gave up that pleasing idea, perfectly satisfied that 
it never could have belonged to that fragment, as 
the foot treads flat upon the ground, and is un- 
questionably in the action of a standing figure 
about to walk, which does not accord with the 
action of the thighs of the torso, which, the reader 
will recollect, is seated. 

I was the means of Sir Thomas acquiring another 
interesting relique of art, as will appear by the 
following statement. 

Twelve months after the death of Dr. Fryer I 
found, by a catalogue of his household property, 


that Sir Joshua Reynolds' throne-chair was inserted 
for sale by auction ; and though I had many friends 
who were ignorant of that circumstance, and whose 
love for the arts would have induced them to have 
gone to a high price for it, particularly one gentle- 
man of rank and fortune, from whom I and my 
family have received repeated instances of kind- 
ness, I considered it my duty, as an artist, to 
apprise Sir Thomas Lawrence of its approaching 
exposition ; and, for that proper attention, I had 
the honour of receiving his warmest thanks. How- 
ever, on the day of sale, the president had nearly 
lost it, as the lot was actually about to be knocked 
down for the paltry sum of 10s. 6d. just as the 
rescuing bidder entered the room ; which enabled 
him, after a slight contest of biddings, to place the 
treasure on that very day by Sir Thomas's fireside 
in Russell Square. 

Last year, 1 in the ever- memorable sale of the 
Leicester Gallery of Pictures, consisting entirely of 
the productions of British artists, a comparatively 
diminutive chair of French character was con- 
spicuously advertised as the throne -chair of Sir 
Joshua Reynolds. Sir Thomas Lawrence, as soon 
as possible, personally acquainted Mr. Christie with 
the absurd mistake, who, upon coming to the lot, 
with his usual manly fairness, acknowledged the 
error to the whole company, informing them that 
the real unostentatious chair was in the possession 
of the President of the Royal Academy. 

Some time before Dr. Fryer's death I requested 

1 That is, in 1827. Ed. 



him to give me a specimen of Barry's handwriting 
to insert in Boswell's ' Life of Dr. Johnson,' which 
my wife has for several years been engaged in 
illustrating ; when he most liberally gave me that 
artist's first sketch of the letter which he addressed 
to Lord and Lady Inchiquin upon their honouring 
him with the presentation of the above-mentioned 
chair. And as many of my readers may not be in 
possession of Dr. Fryer's ' Life of Barry,' where 
the perfect letter is inserted, I here give a copy of 
the first confused draught which now adorns my 
wife's book : 

' Mr. Barry presents his respectful compliments to Lord and Lady 
Inchiquin, with every acknowledgment and thanks for their in- 
estimable favour conferred on him this morning, in the gift of Sir 
Joshua's chair. 

' Alas ! this chair, that has had such a glorious career of fortune, 
instrumental as it has been in giving the most advantageous stability 
to the otherwise fleeting, perishable graces of a Lady Sarah Bunbury, 
or a Waldegrave, or in perpetuating the negligent, honest exterior of 
the authors of the " Rambler," the " Traveller," and of almost every- 
one whom the public admiration gave a currency for abilities, beauty, 
rank, or fashion : the very chair that is immortalized in Mrs. Siddons' 
tragic muse, where it will have as much celebrity as the chair of 
Pindar, which for so many ages was shown in the Porch at Olympia. 

'This chair, then, of Sir Joshua Reynolds may rest, very well 
satisfied with the reputation it has gained ; and although its present 
possessor may not be enabled to grace it with any new ornament, yet 
it can surely count upon finding a most affectionate, reverential con- 
servator, whilst God shall permit it to remain under his care. 5 
'Jan. 30, 1794. 
1 No. 36, Castle-street, Oxford-market.' 

The next record which I shall insert concerning 
Mr. Nollekens is a list of his principal perform- 
ances, which I have arranged alphabetically, in 
order that the reader may readily find the bust, 
statue, or monument of any particular individual : 




Aberdeen, Lord 
Ackland, Miss 
Adam, Mr. 

Alban's, Duchess of St. 
Andover, Lady 
^Anson, 1 Hon. Thomas 
Argyle, Duchess of 
Arkwright, Mr. 
Arkwright, Mrs. 
Asaph, Bishop of 
Aubyn, Sir John St. 
Aubyn, Lady St. 
Auckland, Miss 
Aufrere, Mr. 
Aylesford, Lady 

Baillie, Doctor 

Banks, Sir Joseph 

Bathurst, 2 Lord Chancellor 

Beaufort, Duchess of 
^Bedford, Duke of 

Bedford, John Duke of 

Bedford, Duchess of 

Barrington, Lord 

Berwick, Lady 
*Besborough, Lord 

Bolton, Duke of 

Borrows, Master 
*Bradell, Mrs. 

Brook, Lord 

Brownlow, Lord 

Brownlow, Lady 

Brownlow, Lady 
*Burney, Admiral 
*Burney, M. D. 
*Burney, Rev. Doctor 

^Canning, Hon. George 

Carlisle, Lord 

Carr, Mr. John 

Castlereagh, Lord 

Cavendish, Lord Frederic 
^Cavendish, Lord George 

Chambers, Doctor 

Charles II., King of Eng- 

Chatham, Lord 
*Charlemont, Lord 

Charlemont, 3 Lady 

Clair, Miss Le 

Coke, Mr. 

Colpoys, Admiral 

Coote, Sir Eyre 

1 Mr. Deville, of the Strand, having purchased of Mr. Goblet, Mr. 
Nollekens' principal assistant, the moulds of those busts marked with 
a (*), the reader will be gratified by knowing that casts of them may 
now be had at a very reasonable rate. Smith. 

2 This bust is in the Registrar's room of the Six Clerks' Office, 
Chancery Lane. In the committee- room, under the same roof, is a 
whole-length portrait of the same Chancellor in his robes, by Dance, 
which has been severely cut at the lower part of the picture. Smith. 

3 I have heard Northcote declare that, in his opinion, the bust of 
Lady Charlemont is the finest of Nollekens' productions, and, indeed, 
that he considered it equal to any antique. Smith. 



Cornelli, Mrs. 
Coutts, Mr. 
*Cowper, Lord 
Cromwell, Oliver 
Cumberland, His R. H. 
William Duke of 


Darnley, Lord 
*Daruley, Lady 
Dashwood, Mr. Bateman 
Denison, Mr. 
Devonshire, Duke of 
Dillon, Lord 
Donegal, Marquis 
Dorset, Duke of 
Drummond, Provost 1 
Dunning, Mr. 
Dysart, Lady 

Ellis, Mrs. 
*Erskine, Lord 

Farr, Hon. Edward 
Finch, Mr. Thomas 
*Fitzpatrick, General 
Fitzwilliam, Lord 
Foley, Mr. 
Folkes, Lady 

Fox, Hon. Charles James 2 
Fraine, Mr. 
Fraser, Simon 

*George III., King of Eng- 
^Gainsborough, Lord 

Garrick, Mr. David 

Gower, Lord 

Gower, Lord G. L. 
*Gower, Lady 

Gordon, Duke of 3 

Goldsmith, Oliver 

Grafton, Duke of 

1 George Drummond, so often Provost of Edinburgh, ranks very 
high among the benefactors to the Royal Infirmary in that city. In 
memory of its obligations, a bust of him has been placed in the hall. 
It was done by Nollekens, and bears the highly complimentary in- 
scription of 'George Drummond, to whom his country is indebted 
for all the benefits which it derives from the Royal Infirmary ' 
('History of Edinburgh).' Smith. 

2 It is said that the Empress Catherine of Russia placed Fox's bust 
by Nollekens between those of Cicero and Demosthenes. She had 
no fewer than twelve busts of Mr. Fox in marble, all executed by 
Nollekens, to give as presents. Smith. 

' To the memory of Charles James Fox,' written by Mr. Roscoe, 
under a bust of him by Nollekens, in a temple erected to his memory 
upon the banks of the Clyde by Mr. Todd, of Glasgow. 

' Champion of Freedom ! whose exalted mind 
Grasp'd at the general good of human kind ! 
Patriot ! whose view could stretch from pole to pole, 
And, whilst he bless'd his country, loved the whole !' Smith. 

3 This bust of the Duke of Gordon is considered one of Nollekens' 
finest works. Smith. 



*Granby, Marquis 

Levi, Moses 

*Grenville, Lord 

Lee, Mr. 

*Greville, Hon. Thomas 

"^Liverpool, Lord 

Grey, Lord 

Liverpool, Lady 

Gregory, Mr. 

Lucan, the Daughter of 

*Gwydir, Lord 




Hamilton, Mr. 

Madox, Mr. 

Harringdon, Mr. 

Malone, Anthony 

Hawkesbury, Lady 

*Mansfield, Lord 

Heartley, Lady Louisa 

Mansolini, Anna, at Bo- 

^Helen's, Lord St. 


Hillesbury, Lord 

Manners, Lady 

Holford, Mr. Robert 

Mathias, Mr. 

^Holland, Lord 

Marchant, Master 

Howard, the Hon. Mrs.; 

Maud, Mr. 

Howard, Mrs. 

Maud, Mrs. 


Meath, Bishop 

*Milton, Lord 

Johnson, Bishop 

Mitford, Master 

*Johnson, Doctor 1 

Moira, Lord 

Jersey, Lord 

Monck, Lady Elizabeth 


Montagu, Mr. 

*Mulgrave, Lord 

Keate, George 

Keith, Lord 


Key, Rev. Mr. 

Neal, General 

Keebel, Mr. 

Newcastle, Duke of 

King, Admiral 

Newborough, Lord 

Kirby, Mrs. 

Newborough, Lady 


North, Hon. Dudley 

Lake, Lord 


Lauderdale, Lord 

Orme, Robert 

1 At Nollekens 5 sale, Mr. Chantrey requested me to bid for the 
first cast of this head of Dr. Johnson. Upon my asking him how far 
he would go for it, he observed, ' You buy it, for I shall think it cheap 
at any price ; as it is, in my opinion, by far the finest head our friend 
ever produced ' ; and, indeed, it seemed to be considered so by another 
bidder, who made me pay ten guineas for it almost four times the 
money Nollekens charged for the common casts. Smith. 




Paoli, General 

Parr, Count 

Peranesi, J. B. 

Pelham, Hon. Mr. 

Pelham, Hon. Mrs. 
*Perceval, Hon. Spencer 1 

Percy, Lord 

Petre, Lord 
*Pitt, Hon. William 2 

Popham, Mr. 

Pringle, Sir John 


Richards, Mr. 
Richards, Mr. John 
Roberts, Doctor 
Robinson, Sir William 
Robinson, Sir Sept. 
Rockingham, Marquis of 
Ross, Lord 
Rutland, Duke of 
Rutland, Duchess of 
Rutland, Duchess of, Isa- 
Russia, Empress of 

Salesbury, Lady 
Saville, Sir George 
Simmonds, Daughter of 

Somerset, Duke of 

Spencer, Lord 

Spencer, Lord Robert 

Stanhope, Sir William 

Stafford, Marquis of 
*Sterne, Rev. Laurence 

Stonor, Mr. 

Stroonlof, General 

Stuart, Lord Henry 

Stuart, Sir John 

Sykes, Sir Christopher 
*Taylor, Mr. 

Townley, Mr. Charles 

Townley, Mr. John 

Trevor, Bishop 

Tulmarsh, Mr. 


*Wales, His Royal High- 
ness Prince of 
*Wales, Her Royal High- 
ness Princess of 

Waddell, Mr. William 
"^Warwick, Lord 

Welch, Mr. Saunders 

Welch, Mrs., wife to the 

Wellesley, Marquis 
*Wellesley, Hon. Pole 
*Wellesley, Hon. William 
* Wellington, Duke of 

West, B. P. R. A. 
*Whitbread, Samuel 

1 In a letter by Nollekens, dated November 27, 1812, with which 
I have lately been favoured by the Rev. Henry Crowe, of Bath, to 
whom it is addressed, it is stated that his price for a bust in marble 
was then one hundred and fifty guineas ; to which he adds that he 
had at that time orders for fifteen busts of Mr. Perceval at that price. 

2 The busts of Pitt and Fox, according to the theatrical phrase, 
were called ' Nollekens' stock pieces,' for they were always in requisi- 
tion. Smith. 


Woodburne, Colonel 
*Wyndham, Hon. William 

Woodhouse, Mr. 

*Wynne, Sir W. W. 
William III., King 




*York, His Royal Highness 

Duke of 
York, Her Royal High- 
ness Duchess of 


Ashburton, Lord 


Bathurst, Lord 
Barwell, Henry 
Bateman, Lord 
Baring, John 
Besborough, Lord 
Boston, Lord 
Boscawen, Mr. 
Birch, Taylor 
Bod well, Mr. 
Booth, Sir Charles 
Boyn, Lady 
Boyde, Lady 
Buck worth, Mr. 

Coke, Mrs. 1 
Champion, Major 
Chase, Mr. 
Cunliffe, Sir Foster 


Darby, Mrs. 
Dashwood, Sir John 
Dorset, Duke of 
Dysart, Lord 

Earl, Mrs. 
Elwes, Mr. 

Finch, Rev. Dr. 
Fuller, John 


Goldsmith, Oliver 

Howard, Mrs. 2 
Hill, Joseph 


Irwin, Lady 
Irby, Mrs. 

1 This monument cost about 2,000. The whole of the figures 
were carved by Goblet. Smith. 

2 It has been roundly asserted that Nollekens took the composition 
of this monument from that erected to the Cardinal Richelieu. Be 
this as it may, the figure of the child alone is equal to anything 
ancient or modern, and the praise bestowed on that Nollekens is un- 
equivocally entitled to. The figure of Religion in this monument was 
carved by Goblet. Smith. 





Jervoise, Mrs. 

Robinson, Sir Sept. 



Keate, George 

Kent, H.E.H. Duke of 

Salesbury, Sir Thomas 
Sand, Lord 


Leigh, Lord 
Long, Charles 1 
Lovaine, Lord 


Mackenzie, Stewart 

Standish, Mr. 

Sayer, Admiral 
Southell, Edward 
Seymour, Lady Anne 
Spencer, Earl 
Shipley, Mrs. 2 
Stuart, Sir Charles 

Manners, Lord Robert 
Mitford, Mrs. 
Mordant, Sir J. 
Mortman, Mr. 

Talbot, Lady 
Trevers, Lord 
Tyrell, Sir J. 



Noel, General 


Pinfold, Sir Thomas 

Willis, Dr. Robert 
Wyndham, William 
Wyndham, Family 
Worcester, Bishop 

Pringle, Sir John 

Wynn, Lady 

1 This monument, consisting of a boy with an inverted torch, was 
erected at Saxmundham : for a notice and drawing of which I have 
been obliged to the Rev. John Mitford, editor of an edition of Gray's 
Works, published in 1814. Smith. 

2 The wife of the late Bishop of St. Asaph, who was a brother of 
Shipley, the drawing-master of the Strand, where Nollekens went to 
draw of an evening when a boy. Smith. 

William Shipley was the founder of the famous St. Martin's Lane 
Academy, the best drawing-school in the middle of the eighteenth 
century. He was born in 1714, and survived until 1803. Ed. 



Denison, Robert . . . 


Denison, William 

Diana Marquis of Rockingham. 

Juno Ditto. 

Mercury Lord Yarborough. 

Pitt, Hon. William Senate House, Cambridge. 

Rockingham, Marquis of . . . Earl Fitzwilliam. 

Venus 1 Marquis of Rockingham. 

Venus chiding Cupid 2 .... Lord Yarborough. 

Venus Mr. Chamberlayne, Hampshire. 

Venus anointing her hair . . Bought at Mr. Nollekens' 

auction by Mrs. Palmer. 

Among the few chimney-pieces executed by Mr. 
Nollekens, one of a superior kind was sent to 
Edinburgh for Mr. Scott. 

Mr. Nollekens also executed five masks upon 
keystones for Somerset House, after drawings 
made purposely by Mr. Cipriani. He likewise 
executed orders of a very inferior kind, by putting 
them out to be done by the masons of the New 
Road ; the profits of which were not inconsiderable, 
as he never gave them more than a quarter of what 
he charged himself. 

1 A noble lord, when viewing Mr. Nollekens' statue of Venus per- 
fuming her hair, asked the artist from whence he took the idea of 
thus employing her. Surely it must have been from Homer ? Nollekens 
made no reply ; in fact, he knew very little of Homer. Smith. 

2 Nollekens was so provoked by an accident which happened to one 
of his figures during the exhibition at Somerset House that he 
threatened F. M. NewtoD, the secretary, who made light of the affair, 
should this Venus be in any way injured, to break every bone in his 
skin. Smith. 


As the manner in which every man of talent 
advances in his art is interesting to the inquiring 
mind, I have extracted from a set of the Royal 
Academy Exhibition Catalogues the subjects pro- 
duced by Mr. Nollekens as they stand chrono- 
logically : 

No. 1771. 

139. A bust of a nobleman in marble. 

140. A model of Bacchus. 

141. A ditto, Pastus and Arria, a group. 


168. A bust of a gentleman, in marble. 

169. A statue of Bacchus, ditto. 1 


211. A statue in marble, representing Venus taking off her sandal. 

212. Cupid and Psyche, in basso-relievo. 

213. Hope leaning on an urn. 

214. Portrait of a young lady. 

190. A bust of his Majesty, in marble. 


208. A bust of a nobleman, in marble. 

209. Venus chiding Cupid, a model. 

210. A bust, ditto. 


199. A statue of Juno, in marble. 

200. A bust, ditto. 

201. A bust, in marble. 

202. A ditto. 


249. A bust of a nobleman, in marble. 

250. Ditto of a gentleman , ditto. 

251. Ditto ditto ditto. 

1 The original beautiful little model from which this statue was 
carved is in the possession of my friend John Gawler Bridge, Esq. 


252. A bust of a gentleman, in marble. 

253. Ditto of a lady, a model. 

254. Ditto of a gentleman, ditto. 


216. A marble group of Venus chiding Cupid. 

217. A statue of Diana. 

218. A model of two children, designed for a monument. 

219. A bust of a gentleman. 


217. A bust of a nobleman, in marble. 

218. Ditto of a general. 

219. A model of a monumental figure. 


529. A monumental bas-relievo. 

535. A figure of Adonis. 

556. A Cupid sharpening his arrow. 

464. Figure of Mercury, in marble. 


497. Bust of a lady. 

498. Bust of a nobleman. 
520. Bust of a lady. 

635. Busto of a gentleman. 


597. A monumental figure. 
605. A monumental figure. 
647. Figure of Britannia. 

605. Bust of a gentleman. 


660. Lord Robert Manners expiring in the arms of Victory, in- 
tended by the late Duke of Rutland for a monument to be 
placed in the chapel at Bel voir Castle. 


632. Bust of a gentleman. 

633. Bust of a lady. 


498. A bust of a lady. 

585. Bust of a lady. 
652. Bust of a gentleman. 


622. Bust of a lady of quality. 
933. Bust of a nobleman. 
940. Bust of a lady. 
951. Bust of a nobleman. 
961. Bust of a nobleman. 
972. A Venus. 


988. Bust of a gentleman. 

989. Bust of a nobleman. 
1031. Venus anointing her hair. 

1082. A monumental group, to the memory of a lady who died in 
child-bed, supported by Religion. 


999. Portrait of Mr. John Townley, in the form of a Terminus. 

1001. Bust of his Grace the Duke of Bedford. 

1002. Bust of a young gentleman. 

1007. A bust of Lady Hawkesbury. 

1008. Bust of a young gentleman. 

1009. Bust of Lord Petre. 

1024. A sepulchral bas-relief to the memory of the late Duke of 


1059. Bust of Dr. Burney, 

1063. A design for a monument to the memory of a late celebrated 

general, supported by Wisdom and Justice. 

1064. A sketch : The Graces. 

1065. Bust of the late Duke of Bedford. 

1066. A sketch : Adam and Eve. 

1067. A sketch of a monument for a naval officer expiring in the 

arms of Victory. 

1073. Bust of the Hon. C. J. Fox. 

1074. A sketch : The Slaughter of the Innocents. 



924. Pudicity : a sketch. 

925. Bust of Mr. Stonor. 

930. Lot and his two Daughters : a sketch. 

931. Dsedal us and Icarus : a sketch. 

932. The Judgment of Paris : a sketch. 
1024. Bust of Lord Moira. 


947. Portrait of the Hon. C. Grey. 

948. Portrait of Miss C. Symmons. 

949. Portrait of the Right Hon. General Fitzpatrick. 

950. Portrait of the Earl of Lauderdale. 

951. Portrait of Lord R. Spencer. 


689. A sketch of a Hercules. 

690. A sketch of a Faun playing. 

693. A medallion of the late Miss Ackland, daughter of J. 

Ackland, Esq. 

694. A sketch of Laocoon and his Sons. 

695. A bust of the Marquis of Stafford. 

711. A design of a monument, intended for Westminster Abbey, 

to the memory of two naval officers, 
783. A bust of the late C. Townley, Esq. 
789. A bust of T. W. Coke, Esq. 


969. Bust of the Hon. Mr. Pelham. 

970. Bust of the Earl of Darnley. 

971. Bust of the Marquis Wellesley. 

972. Bust of his Grace the Duke of Bedford. 

978. Bust of his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales. 

979. Bust of Sir W. W. Wynne, Bart. 


753. His Grace the Duke of Rutland. 

766. Bust of the Right Hon. Lord Brownlow. 

874. Bust of the Hon. Mrs. Pelham. 

875. Bust of the Right Hon. Lord Grenville. 

876. Bust of her Grace the Duchess of Rutland. 

885. Bust of the Countess of Charlemont. 

886. Bust of the Right Hon. Lord Mulgrave. 


926. A model of a monument of the late Mrs. Coke, of Holkham. 
938. Bust of the Right Hon. Lord Castlereagh. 

940. Bust of the Right Hon. Earl of Chatham. 

941. Bust of the Right Hon. Lord Grenville Leveson Gower. 

948. Bust of the Right Hon. W. Wellesley Pole. 

949. Bust of the Right Hon. Lord Roos. 

951. Bust of the Right Hon. George Canning. 

952. Bust of Admiral Sir J. Colpoys, K.B. 


933. Bust of the Countess of Charlemont. 1 

934. Bust of Benjamin West, Esq., President of the Royal 


936. Bust of the Right Hon. Lord Brooke. 

937. Bust of Lord Gwydir. 


919. Bust of the Right Hon. Spencer Perceval. 

925. Bust of the Right Hon. Lord G. Cavendish. 

926. Bust of H.R.H. the Duke of York. 

935. Bust of the Marquis of Wellington. 


781. Bust of S. Whitbread, Esq., M.P. 

789. Bust of the Earl of Charlemont. 

792. Bust of his Grace the Duke of Grafton. 

800. Bust of Earl Cowper. 

801. Bust of the Earl of Aberdeen. 


888. Bust of Lord Erskine. 

889. Bust of the Rev. C. Burney, D.D. 
895. Bust of the Earl of Egremont. 

932. Bust of Lord St. Helen's. 

950. Bust of T. Coutts, Esq. 

951. Bust of the Earl of Liverpool. 

961. Bust of his Grace the Duke of Newcastle. 

1 In order to account for the recurrence of the same bust, it may be 
proper to remark that Mr. Nollekens in many instances exhibited the 
model one year, and a carving from it in marble in the next. Smith. 

THE END 415 

Such, and so numerous, are the works of Nolle- 
kens, who will long be remembered, not only as 
having held a conspicuous rank among contem- 
porary artists in an era abounding in men of genius, 
but as having, by assiduity rarely surpassed, and 
parsimony seldom equalled, amassed a princely 
fortune ; from which, however, his avaricious spirit 
forbade him to derive any comfort or dignity, 
excepting the poor consolation of being surrounded, 
in his dotage, by parasites who administered to his 
unintellectual enjoyments, and flattered even his 
infirmities, in the hope of sharing the vast property 
which Death would force him to resign. 



Since the greater part of this volume was in print, Miss 
Edith M. Beechey, of High House, Newbury, the grand- 
daughter of Sir William Beechey, R.A., who was one of 
Nollekens' executors, has obliged me with the sight of a 
dossier of French and Flemish documents, only lately 
discovered among the family papers, which throw some 
small further light on the genealogy of the sculptor. 

It appears from them that, on learning of the death of 
Nollekens in London, an attorney of Louvain, M. Joseph 
Emmanuel Bals, discovered certain collateral heirs of the 
sculptor's great-grandfather, and supposing Nollekens to 
have died intestate, proceeded to bring their names under 
the notice of the Court of Chancery. This attempt, of 
course, was promptly shown to be absurd, and the corre- 
spondence has little value, except as a further proof of the 
extreme accuracy of J. T. Smith. It adds, however, a 
few family facts. It carries the genealogy of the sculptor 
one generation further back, and reveals a great-grand- 
father, Henry Nollekens, who on July 15, 1660, married 
Marie Anne de Baghedette de Rinckt, at Antwerp. This 
Henry had two sons, the younger being the sculptor's 
grandfather ; the elder, Henry Nollekens, born at Antwerp 
on February 14, 1663, married Barbe van den Casteelen, 
and became the father of Cathrine and Paul Nollekens ; 
of these the former, marrying Francois Meulemans, became 
the mother of Jean Baptiste Meulemans, while Paul became 



the father of Jean Baptiste and Francis Nollekens. These 
were the three pretendents whom Bals brought forward, 
and they were all elderly men at the time, Jean Baptiste 
Nollekens being over eighty. They all belonged to the 
labouring class. 

The claim of these cousins falling through, Bals made 
another attempt one fails to see why to disturb the will 
on the ground that the sculptor's father, Old Nollekens, 
who had called himself Joseph Francis, and had been 
buried under that name, when he died in Paddington, on 
January 21, 1748, was an illegitimate son. At first it 
seemed as though this must be true, for no child of that 
name had been baptized at Antwerp between 1690 and 
1730. It was found, however, that he had adopted the 
name Joseph. The father of the sculptor, then, legitimate 
son of Jean Baptiste Nollekens, and born at Antwerp on 
June 10, 1702, was Corneille Francois Nollekens, and it 
was under that name that he married Marie Anne Le Sacq, 
the mother of the sculptor. 

One small additional fact is brought to light by this 
correspondence, namely, that Old Nollekens studied under 
Giovanni Paolo Panini, the Italian painter. The name of 
his mother, the grandmother of the sculptor, was Anne 
Angeline Le Roux, who was buried at Antwerp on Sep- 
tember 30, 1747. 

E. G. 

t 419 ] 


Abbott, Francis Lemuel, 96 

Academy, Royal, first sculptors, 2, 8, 
9 ; first gold medal, 9 ; keepers, 6, 8, 
78, 151 ; first secretary, 40 ; Nolle- 
kens elected, 40 ; earliest professor 
of painting, 69 

'Achilles Arming,' Banks, 15 

Adam, Robert, the architect, 17, 285 

Albani, Cardinal, 225, 399 

Alefounder, John, 341 

Alexander, William, 24 

Antique forgeries, 107, 108 

Antique sculpture, Nollekens' treat- 
ment, 37, 222, 396 

Architects in eighteenth century, 3 

Argyle Street, 252 

Arminger, William, 76, 121 

Arnald, George, A.R.A., 37, 326 

Arnald, Sebastian Wyndham, 37 

Artificial Stone Factory, Lambeth, 9, 

Ashbourne, Derbyshire, 15 

Bacon, John, R.A., 1 ; career, 9 ; 
character and success, 10, 11 ; skill, 
11, 12 ; and George III., 90, 91 

Baddeley, the actor, 194 

Bailey, Edward Hodges, R. A., 246, 304 

Baillie, Captain, 141 

Bailye, Rev. Canon H., 135 

Baker, John, 51 

Balme, Rev. Edward, 365, 368, 373 

Banks, Sir Joseph, 228 

Banks, Thomas, R. A., birth and educa- 
tion, 13 ; career, 14, 15 ; ' Every 
Man in his Way,' 72 

Bannister, Charles, 120, 121, 148 

Bannister, John, 194 

Baptiste, flower-painter, 62 

Barber, Francis, 135 

Barnard, John, 299 

Barry, James, R.A., 34, 35, 66 f 105, 
161, 253, 327, 401 

Bartolozzi, Francesco, R.A., 22 

Bat Pidgeon, of the Strand, 304, 305 

Bathurst, Lord Chancellor, 73 

Beaumont, Sir George, 137 

Beechey, Sir William, R.A., 328, 339, 
345, 363, 366, 373, 375, 417 

Beefsteak Club, 125 

Bell, Rev. Dr., 164 

Bensley, the printer, 134 
1 Bentham, William, 56 
J Bessborough, Earl of, 38, 118, 119 

Betew, Paton, 173-177, 178 
J Bethlehem Hospital, 20, 213 

Bird, Francis, 1, 167, 182, 389 
i Birdcage Walk, 229 
I Bishopsgate Street, 213 

Bolt Court (Dr. Johnson's), 134 

Bonomi, Joseph, A.R.A., 63, 256, 276, 
289, 322, 337, 338 
I Bonomi, Family of, bequest, 366 
I Booth, bookseller, 55 
I Boothby monument, Banks', 15 
j Borsi, Dr. , of Rome, 250 
; Boswell, James, 128, 130, 204, 216 
I Bourgeois, Sir Francis, R.A., 326, 

! Bow Churchyard, 9 
I Bow manufactory, 176 
I British Museum, print-keepers, 24, 25, 
83 ; Townley marbles, 36, 230 ; Lord 
Exeter's drawings, 223 

Britton, Tom, 193 

Bromley, herald-painter, 49 

Brompton, Richard, 310 

Brooking, Charles, 175 

Browne, George H., 303 

Brownlow. See Exeter, Earl of 

Burney, Dr. Charles, 61, 116, 151 

Busby's monument, 167 



Byrne, William, 279 
Byrne, Mrs., 367 

Canova, A, 18, 250 

Capizzoldi, 5, 48 

Capon, William, 217 

Carlini, Agostino, R.A., 2, 5, 6, 8, 

Carlisle, Sir Anthony, 365, 370 
Carlisle Street, Soho, 8 
Carter, Mrs. Elizabeth, 77, 84, 85, 120, 

186-89, 287 
Carter, John, 164 
Carter, Thomas, 18, 168 
Catherine of Russia, 14, 404 
Catling, John, 163 
Catton, Charles, R.A., 50 
Cave, E., 205 

Cecil, biographer of Bacon, 1 
Ceracchi, Giuseppe, 17 
Chambers, Sir William, R.A., 104 
Chambers, Lady, 48, 188 
Chantry, Sir Francis, R.A., 16, 182, 
233, 240, 245, 265, 276, 335, 386, 
Charlemont, Lady, bust, 403 
Charles Street, Westminster, 51 
Charlotte, Queen, 83, 84, 155, 296, 

Chatelaine, J. B. C, 174 

Chatham's monument, Bacon, 12, 16 

Cheer e, Sir Henry, leaden figures, 85, 

Chelsea china designers, 177 

Cheney, Bartholomew, 168 

Chesterfield's letters, 80 

Chippendale, Thomas, 196 

Christie, the auctioneer, 65, 234, 285, 
368, 375, 395, 401 

Church Court, Covent Garden, 52 

Cibber, Caius Gabriel, 214 

Cipriani, Giovanni Baptista, R.A., 5, 
48, 182, 183, 184, 231, 316, 409 

Clarkson, Nathaniel, 50 

Coates, "Francis, R.A., death, 82 

Cockpit, The Royal, 235 

Coleman, Miss, 201 

Coleraine, Lord, 218, 219 

Cook, F., 149 

Cooke, 'Memory,' 53 

Cooper, Richard, senior, 279 

Coote, Sir Eyre, monument, Banks, 
14, 15 ; bust, Nollekens, 140 

Cornwall's monument, Cheney, 168 

Cosway, Richard, R.A., 134, 306, 

Cosway, Mrs. Maria, 134, 295 

Coutts, Mrs. (afterwards Duchess of 
St. Albans), 386, 387 

Coutts, the banker, 385, 387 

Covent Garden : Lord Russell's house. 
54 ; Robins' rooms, 58 ; debased 
period, 132, 133 ; Low's Hotel, 187 ; 
flowers first sold, 187 ; famous resi- 
dents, 197-99 

Cranbourne Alley, 130 

Cranmer, Charles, model, 83 

Craven buildings, Drury Lane, 78 

Crispe, of Bow Churchyard, 9 

Crone, Robert, 239, 299 

Crowther, of Bow, 176 

Cunningham, Allan, 1, 3, 16 

Dallaway, Rev. James, 170 

Dalton, Richard, 88, 239 

Darner, Hon. Anne, 17 

Dance -Holland, Sir Nathaniel, R.A., 

49, 151, 152, 187, 249, 336 
Darley, Matthew, 318 
Dawkins, James, 388 
Dean Street, 62 
Deare, John, 17, 18, 181, 221, 222, 

361, 388 
Delvaux, Laurent, 2, 3 
Delvaux, junior, 121 
Desenfans, Noel, 325, 326 
Devay, Abbe, 228 

Deville, of the Strand, 333, 394, 403 
Devins, Miss S., 367 
Devonshire Place, 56 
Dibdin, Charles, 214 
Dixon, John, 149, 151 
Dodd, ' Little,' 148 
Dogs, Anecdotes of, 153, 154, 156, 160 
Douce, Francis, 366, 368, 375 
Dress (ladies') in 1771, 42, 43 
Drummond, George, 404 
Dulwich Gallery, 326 
Dundas, Sir Thomas, 285 
Dutch tables, 241 

Eckstein, John, 168 

Edmonton, 23 

Egremont's, Earl, Petworth gallery, 

246, 327, 398 
Eldon, Lord, 56 
Elgin marbles, 230, 242, 256, 322 ; 

House of Commons committee, 257-6 
Elgin's, Lord, house, 256 
Evans, of Pall Mall, 65, 396 
Exeter, Earl of, 223 

Fagan's drawings, 222 
'Falling Giant,' Banks, 15 



Fashions in 1771, 43, 44 ; account by 

Miss Moser, 79 
Ferg, Francis Paul, 177 
Fiamingo's models, 388 
Fielding, Henry, 41, 42 ; anecdotes of, 

126-28; Man of the Hill in 'Tom 

Jones,' 177, 391 
Fielding, Sir John, 125, 132 
Fifing boys, 287 
Flaxman, John, R.A., 1, 10, 17, 20, 

112, 148, 168, 223, 246, 257, 267, 

301, 313, 350, 359, 361, 385, 399; 

evidence on Elgin marbles, 259-64 
Fleet prisoners' money-box, 65 
Foley Place, 48 
Ford, Richard, 138 
Fountain's school, 56 
Fox, Charles James, 308, 393, 404, 406 
French Gardens, 93 
Frogmore, 83 
Fryer, Dr., 400, 401, 402 
Fuseli, Henry, R.A., 80, 102, 161, 

216, 217, 321, 385 

Gahagan, George, 367 

Gahagan, Sebastian, 121, 289, 332, 367, 

380, 381 
Gainsborough, 81, 170, 172,173, 175, 309 
Garrard, George, 324 
Garrick. David, 22, 33. 49, 81, 148, 

149, 151, 152, 154, 188, 196, 236, 

283, 293 
Garrick, Mrs., 151, 155 ; her dog 

Biddy, 154 
Garter, insignia of the Order, 152 
Gatehouse, Westminster, 169 
Gaugain, T., 394 
Gee, Mrs. Elizabeth, 371 
George III., birthplace, 170 ; and Nol- 

lekens, 88-91 ; Mr. Townley and, 

229 ; Rebecca and, 316 
Gerrard, Mrs., 367 
Gerrard, Miss, 337 
Gerrard Street, 23, 76 
Gibbons, Grinling, 54 
Gibson, John, R.A., 322 
Gifford, Mr., 205 
Gilliland, Thomas, 285 
Goblet, Alexander, 290, 303, 356, 364, 

365, 367, 368, 371, 372, 407 
Goblet, Henry, 37?, 373 
Goblet, Louisa, 367 
Go-cart for infants, 211-13 
Golden Square, 83 
Goldsmith, Oliver ('the Professor of 

History'), 81, 284; monument in 

Westminster Abbey, 76 

Goupy, Joseph, 45 

Gower Street, 55, 56 

Graham, Mrs., 147 

Grand Junction Canal fetes, 319, 320 

Grassini, the singer, 252 

Gray, Thomas, 136 

Great Portland Street, 21, 47, 48 

Great Queen Street, 196, 197 

Great Russell Street, Covent Garden, 

Green, a sculptor, 121 
Green, Mrs., 366 
Gribelin, 184 
Grignon, Charles, 188 
Grignon, Thomas, 50, 78, 125, 176, 299 
Grosvenor Square, 59, 197 

Haid, Johann, 150 
Halifax monument, Bacon, 12 
Hamilton, Colonel, 172, 173 
Hamilton, Gavin, 81, 172, 222, 316, 323 
Hampstead, Upper Flask Tavern, 86 ; 

salubrity and residences, 111-13 
Hampton, 155 
Handel, G. F., 56 

Hanger, Colonel George. See Coleraine 
Hawkins, Sir John, 129, 130, 135, 201 ; 

1 History of Music,' 193 
Hawkins, Mrs., 368 
Hawkins, Miss, 110, 116, 129; her 

anecdotes, 205-208 
Hayman, Frank, R.A., 99, 103, 236 
Henning, John, 268, 387, 388 
Hill, Aaron, 300 
Hilton, William, R.A., 151 
Hinchliffe, Right Rev. Dr., 23 
Hoadly, Dr. John, 236 
Hoare, Mr. Prince, 250, 300 
Hoare, William, R.A., 206 
Hogarth, William, 45, 60, 66, 68, 148, 

178, 179, 235, 236, 247, 278, 392 
Holmes, Admiral, monument by Wil- 
ton, 6 
Holt, Mrs. Mary, 353, 358, 367, 373 
Hone, Horace, 143 
Hone, Nathaniel, R.A.,enamellist, 140, 

141, 176; exhibition of 'Conjuror,' 

142-47 ; death, 147 
Hone's ' Every-day Book,' 197 
Hoole, John, 196 
Horn, Count, 84 

Hornick, Mrs., and daughters, 81 
Howard, Mrs., monument, Nollekens, 

Hoyle, E., ' Whist,' 44 
Hudson, Thomas, 58, 196, 318 
Hussey, Mrs., 127, 128 



Hutton, Dr., 205 

Ireland, Samuel, 191 

Ixion on the Wheel,' Procter, 18 

Jackson, John, R.A., 336 

James Street, Covent Garden, 188 

Jenkins, antique dealer, 37, 222, 299 

Jennings, Noel, 254, 255 

Jernigan, Henry, 299 

John Street, St. Pancras, 294 

Johnson, Dr. Samuel, 22, 42, 71, 76, 
82, 92, 104, 105, 118, 121, 128, 130, 
134-36, 203, 207, 236, 251, 288, 291, 
292 ; bust, 390, 405 ; Bolt Court 
house, 134 

Joseph, G. F., A.R.A., 91, 286 

Joseph, Samuel, 91 

Julien, Pierre, 5 

Kauffman, Mrs. Angelica, R.A., 77, 
81, 83, 100, 141, 142-46, 310, 316, 
388 ; first marriage, 84, 249 ; death, 

Kean, Edmund, 341 

Kean, Moses, 340, 341 

Keate, George, 153 

Kerrick, Rev. Thomas, 290, 366, 371, 
374, 381 

King, Colonel Richard, 61 

Kitchiner, Dr. William, 192, 193 

Kneller, Sir Godfrey, 197, 391, 392 

Knight, Richard Payne, 52, 83 

Knowles, John, 385 

Lake, Sir James, 23, 176 
Lambert, George, 125 
Langford, the auctioneer, 58 
Lawrence, Sir Thomas, R.A. , 85, 162, 

185, 257, 265, 350, 360, 390, 400, 401 
Le Beck, the cook, 127 
Lee, Mary, C. Whiteford's widow, 365, 

Leicester Fields, 60, 133, 182 
Leicester Gallery of Pictures, 401 
Lely, Sir Peter, 197 
Lincoln's Inn Fields, 197 
Litchfield Street, 131 
Liverpool Street, 213 
Lloyd, Mrs. Mary, R.A., 77-83, 102, 

120, 280, 289, 291, 292, 293, 308 ; will, 

294, 295 
Locke, William, of Norbury, 37 
London street-cries, 192-96 
Lonsdale, James, 384 
Loutherbourg, Philip James de, R.A., 

112, 120 

Lowe, T., singer, 56, 120 
Lupton, George, 367, 381 

McArdell, James, 211 
Macpherson, Sir John, 286 
Mansfield, Lord, 118, 207, 243, 344 
Martin, Rev. Mr., 104 
Marylebone Church, 41 ; Fields, 133, 

218, 255 ; Gardens, 56, 133 
May Day dances, 115 
Mendoza, 373 
Mengs, Raffaelle, 278 
Meyer, Jeremiah, R.A., 86 
Michael Angelo, 360 
Monamy, Peter, 49 
Monmouth House, Soho Square, 53 
Montague, Lady Mary Wortley, 198 
Monuments by Nollekens, catalogue of, 

407, 408 
Morland, George, 49 
Mortimer, John Hamilton, A.R.A., 52 
Mortimer Street, 40, 93, 365 
Moser, George Michael, R.A., 77, 78, 

151, 176 
Moser, Joseph, 294 
Moser, Mary, R.A. See Lloyd, Mrs. 

Mosman, Nicholas, 222-24 

Newborough, Lady, 331 

Newman Street, 320 

New Road masons, 409 

Newspapers, Old, 66-8 

Newton, Francis M., R.A., 40, 145, 

Newton, Sir Isaac, 60 

Nichols, Mr. Deputy, 205 

Nollekens, Henry, 417 

Nollekens, Joseph, R.A., 15-17, 24 ; 
pedigree, 29, 30, 417, 418; early 
masters, 31 ; Society of Arts pre- 
miums, 32, 33 ; in Rome, 33-9 ; 
patronized by Garrick, 33 ; by 
Sterne, 34 ; wins Papal medal, ib. ; 
Barry's friendship, 34, 35 ; antique 
dealings, 35, 36, 37, 38 ; smuggling 
in busts, 39 ; Mortimer Street 
house, 40; elected R.A., ib. ; royal 
patronage, ib., 88, 90 ; marries 
Mary Welch, 41-4 ; J. T. Smith in 
studio, 57 ; mother, 66 ; eccentricities, 
72-5, 220, 221 ; person, 95, 96, 150, 
218 ; dinner-parties, 98-103 ; anti- 
pathy to Romney, 102 ; domestic 
jars, 110, 117, 224-26 ; father-in- 
law's legacy, 130 ; conversations, 
163-171, 174-77 ; on colossal sculp- 



ture, 180 ; at Academy Club and 
Harrogate, 199-201 ; a Venus model, 
201, 202 ; coarseness, 227 ; merits as a 
sculptor, 241, 363, 389, 393 ; love of 
Italian Opera, 252 ; orthography, 
253 ; on Elgin marbles, 257-59 ; in. 
contrast with Flaxman, 267 ; house 
robbed, 274, 275; studio and gallery, 
276 ; bereavement, 289 ; Mary 
Lloyd's executor, 294 ; habits, 296, 
297 ; fits of generosity, 304, 335, 344 ; 
residence, 307-11 ; faith, 311, 312; art 
patronage, 326, 327 ; manners, 328, 
331 ; insensibility to natural objects, 
350 ; meanness, 39, 353-58 ; draw- 
ings, 358-61 ; skill in modelling, 
363 ; death, 365 ; will, 365-73 ; 
funeral, 374-77 ; profit from Pitt 
commissions, 383 ; sale of effects, 
395 ; charges, 406 ; list of works, 
Nollekens, Old, [Joseph] Corneille 

Francois, 29, 80, 418 
Nollekens, Mrs. Joseph, 41, 42, 69-71, 
94, 95, 101, 106, 113, 129, 189, 190, 
204, 252, 280, 288, 289, 295, 311, 
Norfolk, Duke of, town-house, 170 
Norman, the dog doctor, 156, 157 
Northcote, James, R.A., 252, 285, 300 

' Old Corks,' 195 
Old newspapers, 66-8 
Opie, John, R.A., 215 
Oram, William. 112 
Ottley, William Young, 162 
Oxford Market, 298 

Paddington, 14, 49, 288, 365, 376 

Palmer, F. R., 368 

Pantheon, Oxford Street, 215, 216 

Paoli, General, 120 

Paradice, Mrs., 291, 292 

Park Lane, Piccadilly, 256 

Park Street, Westminster, 227, 229-35 

Pasquin, Anthony, 318 

Peck, Jasper, 368, 375 

Pelham. See Yarb rough 

Pennant, Thomas, 55 

Penny, Edward, R.A., 69 

Perceval, Hon. Spencer, 406 

Peter Pindar. See Wolcot 

Pether, Abraham, 329 

Petworth, 246, 398 

Phillips, Lieutenant-Colonel, 61, 155 

Pigalle, Jean Baptiste, 47 

Pisano, Vittorio, 270 

Pitt, Right Hon. W., statue, Cam- 
bridge, 380-82, 406 

Playbill for Marshalsea benefit, 393 

Pocock's, SirG., monument, Bacon, 12 

Pond, Arthur, 318 

Pope, Alexander, 330 

Poplar, Ea9t India Company's Chapel, 

Procter, Thomas, 18, 19, 361 

Pulteney monument, Wilton, 6 

Queen Anne Street East (Foley Place), 

'Queen's Head and Artichoke,' 218, 

Queen's Street, Lincoln's Inn, 49. See 

Great Queen's Street 
Queen's Square, 40 
Quellinus, Arthur, 4 
Quin, James, 148, 149 

Radcliffe, Mrs. Anne, 157-160 

Rann, Jack ('Sixteen-string Jack'), 47 

Rathbone Place, 59, 147 

Rat's Castle, Dyot Street, 321 

Rawle, the antiquary, 31 

Read, Nicholas, sculptor, 6 

Rebecca, Biagio, A.R.A., 316, 317, 

Renton, John, 333 

Reynolds, Sir Joshua, P.R.A., 18, 58, 
59, 76, 81, 104, 141, 147, 228, 252, 
301, 329, 330, 400, 402 

Rich, Mr., 125, 209 

Richardson, George, 122 

Richardson, Jonathan, junior, 40, 390 

Richardson, Samuel, 205 

Rigaud, John Francis, R.A., 184, 185 

Rijsbrack, John Michael, 2, 359 

Robertson, Andrew, 334 

Robertson, Charles, 367 

Robins, the auctioneer, 58 

Robinson, Perdita, 23 

Rodney's Captains, monument by Nol- 
lekens, 16, 383 

Romney, George, 112 

Rossi, John C. F., R.A., 19, 200, 246, 
336, 397, 398, 399 

Roubiliac, L. F., 1, 2, 7, 21, 22, 31, 
174, 214, 240, 389, 396 

Rouw, Peter, 373, 375 

Royal Academy Club, 199 

Rubens, P. P., 182, 183-85, 211 

Rudeman, Dr., 367 

Rumsey, Mrs. Elizabeth, 367 

Runciman, Alexander, 82 

Russell Court, Co vent Garden, 319 



Russell Square, 401 

Russell Street, Drury Lane, 50, 125 

St. George's Church, Bloomsbury, 129 

St. James's Square, 170 

St. Martin's Churchyard, 22 

St. Martin's Lane Academy, 13, 21, 

408 ; Hone's pictures 147 
St. Martin's Street, Leicester Square, 

St. Paul's, 182, 244 

St. Paul's, Covent Garden, 78, 198, 299 
Salmon's Waxworks, 165 
Sancho, Ignatius, 51, 53 
Sandby, Paul, R.A., 138, 139, 175 
Sandby, Thomas, R.A., 23 
Sayer, James, 87 
Scheemakers, Peter, 2, 22, 31, 64, 167, 

Score, William, 59 
Sculptor's disadvantages, 243, 244 
Seward, William, 161 
Shakespeare, 209 
Sharp, William, 271, 293 
Sheridan, Richard B., 196, 217 
Sherwin, John Kaye, 23, 155, 205, 206 
Shipley, William, drawing-school, 30, 

Shuter, Ned, 194 
Siddons, Mrs., 23, 382, 383 
Signs by well-known artists, 49-51 
Simon, Thomas, 181, 271 
1 Sixteen-string Jack,' 47, 164 
Smart, John, 308 
Smirke, Robert, R.A., 49 
Smith, Charles, 284 
Smith, John Thomas, 1, 21-26, 36, 37, 

99, 373 
Smith, Nathaniel, 21, 22, 30, 32, 57, 

Society of Arts, 9, 31, 296 
Soane, Sir John, R.A., 350 
Soho Square, 62 
Soilleux, John, 367 
Somerset House or Place, 6, 78, 409 
' Southwark Fair,' Hogarth, 236 
Spang, M. H., 360 
Spilsbury, John, 319 
Spinning-wheel Alley, 213 
Staines, Sir William, 315 
State-coach of George III., 48, 49 
Statues by Nollekens, catalogue of, 409 
Steam stage-coach, 320, 221 
Steevens, George, 86-88, 136 
Sterne, Laurence, 34, 39, 51 
Stewart, an American artist, 336 
Stothard, Thomas, R.A., 165 

Stow, James, 172 
Strand, 304 

Strange, Sir Robert, 239 
Street-cries of London, 192-96 
Strike of shoemakers in 1766, 131 
Stuart, James ('Athenian'), 36, 45, 60 
Sutherland, Colonel, 55 
Symmons, Rev. Dr. Charles, 367 

Tabley, Lord de, The first, 186 

Tavistock Row, 187 

Taylor, John, portrait-painter, 98-100, 

i01, 289, 331, 362, 367 
Teuscher, Marcus, 40 
Theed, William, R.A., 19, 20 
Thomson, Henry, R.A., 151 
Thornhaugh Street, 296 
Thornhill, Sir James, 177, 197 
Thrale, Mrs., 118 
Thurlow, bust by Rossi, 19 
Tinney, John, 279 
Titchfield Street, 122, 201, 215 
Townley, Charles, 22, 36, 38, 121, 171, 

201, 227-29 ; house and gallery, 

229-35, 258, 259. 313 
Townley, John, 235, 32 1 
Townsend's monument in Abbey, 168 
' Traveller Twiss,' 209 
Tresham, Henry, R.A., 216, 321 
Tull, Nathaniel, 175 
Turner, J. M. W., R.A., 304 
Twigg, the fruiterer, 186 

Uxbridge Canal excursions, 319 

Vandevelde, William, 187 

Varley, John, 325 

Vauxhall Gardens, 100 

Vere Street, 2 

Verninck, Maria, 370 

Vertue, George, 166 

Vestris, Madame, 116 

Vine Street, 2, 31, 64 

Vivares, Thomas, 174, 175 

' Vortigern,' representation of, 191, 192 

Walford, Mrs., 367 

Walpole, Horace, 50 

Walton, Parry, 184 

Ward, Dr., 51 

Warwick Street, Golden Square, 5 

Watteau, Antoine, 29 

Wedding-dress of a lady in 1771, 42, 43 

Welch, Anne, 41, 129, 130, 189, 253, 

280, 292 ; death and epitaph, 251 
Welch, Saunders, 41, 48, 102, 103, 123, 

124-127, 128, 129, 30-34, 136-38, 311 



Wellington, Duke of, 374, 376 

Wesley, John, 221 

Wesley, Samuel, the organist, 116, 
210 221 

West,' Benjamin, P.K.A., 19, 257, 295, 
316, 317, 320, 367 

Westmacott, Richard, R.A., 20, 241, 
246, 264, 276 

Westminster Abbey, 163-69, 313-15, 

Westminster Bridge, Old, 169 

Westminster, dress of the High Con- 
stable, 124, 125 

Whitbread, Samuel, 248 

White, a fabricator of antiques, 108 

White's Chocolate House, 97 

Whitefield, Rev. George, 133 ; taber- 
nacle, 11 

Whiteford, Caleb, 102, 281-84, 310, 
365, 366 

Whitehall ceiling, Rubens, 182-85 

Wigs, treatment by artists, 390, 391 ; 
theft of, 392, 393 

Wilkes, John, 125 

Wilkie, Sir David, R.A., 390 

Wilkinson, Robert, 206 

Williams, John, critic, 318 

Williams, sculptor, 397 

Wilson, Richard, RA., 51, 136, 137, 
138, 139, 186, 197, 278, 310 

Wilton, Joseph, R.A., 2, 3-8, 22, 48, 

Winckelmann's 'Reflections,' 4 
Wivell, Abraham, 344 
Wolcot, Dr. ('Peter Pindar'), 137, 

187, 214, 215, 319 
Wolfe, General, monument by Wilton, 

5, 7, 174 
Wollaston, Rev. Mr., 367 
Woodburn, Samuel, 162 
Woodcock, John, 367 
Woodward, Dr., 61 
Wodlett, William, 279 
Worlidge, Thomas, 196 
Wren, Sir Christopher, 184 
Wright, coach-maker, 50 
Wyatt, Richard. 23 
Wycherley, William, 391, 393 
Wynn, Sir Watkin W., 49, 151, 152 

Yarborough, Lord, 38, 71, 99, 395," 396 ; 
his daughter, 73 

Zincke, Christian Friedrich, 187 
Zotfany, Johann, R.A., 81, 86, 149, 

228, 278, 309 
Zotfany, Mrs. Mary, 366, 378 
Zucchi, Antonio, R.A., 84, 316. See 



billing and sons, printers, guildford. 

/. B. <k Co. 




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